Canada’s music talent rocked the stage for the 2015 JUNO Awards on Sunday night, returning to Hamilton, for the first time in almost 15 years. For the first time ever, Canada’s biggest night in music was held at the very packed FirstOntario Centre with Hedley’s very own frontman Jacob Hoggard doing a stellar job hosting.
Unbeknownst to the viewer, Jacob hosted the live TV segments but it was Kardinal Offishall that kept the crowds hyped up during commercial breaks. Jacob did a fantastic job ad libbing a lot of the script when there were issues with the teleprompter and never hesitated to add his own hilarious side commentary. You have to love him after that funny impromptu cover of “Thank You” (by Alanis Morissette) at the end. It had the audience laughing out of their seats! After all, he has one of the most upbeat and edgy personalities in Canadian music today.
Hedley opened with a fiery performance, which was too hot to handle, literally setting off the fire alarm just 10 minutes into the show.
Audience highlights included Shawn Mendes with his endearing acoustic performance of “Life of the Party”, LIGHTS and her onstage collaboration with Sam Roberts Band performing a medley of “Up We Go” and “We’re All in This Together.”
The JUNO Awards were notably Canadian, celebrating the pride we have in Canadian music, recognizing talent from the west coast to the Prairies to the east coast and the territories. There were awards for Aboriginal music, a tribute to Alanis Morissette (who shows off her massive talent to the younger generation) and a new inaugural award for the host city of the JUNOs (given to Calgary, which will host the 2016 JUNO Awards). Even social issues such as piracy and censorship also sneaked their way into the script.
All the performers were very relevant and put on a great show (which hopefully reflected on live TV as well), as most of them were some of the biggest Canadian music stars throughout 2014 and experienced success outside of Canada too. The most notable Canadian artists to watch in the upcoming years are, in my opinion: Kiesza, for her unparalleled vocal, songwriting and dancing ability; LIGHTS, for her infectious personality and improving with every album; and MAGIC!, pushing the boundaries with their unique sound and exquisite songwriting skills.
Congratulations to all the performers and winners! Cheers to a new year of fantastic Canadian music and talent. You can check out the full list of award winners here. See you in Calgary in 2016!
[Photography by CARAS/iPhoto]