After a lovely afternoon at Vancouver Fashion Week I’ve made my way over to the Juno Awards Gala Dinner were 32 awards will be handed out prior to the broadcast tomorrow, where the rest of the winners will be honored.
Update: Minister Wally Oppal is giving a speech, which follows an introduction from Melanie Berry from CARAS, and makes a few wise cracks about Bruce Allan – awesome. There are also performances peppered throughout tonight’s ceremonies including Beast (who kicked off the dinner), Nikki Yanofsky, Gryphon Trio, The Trews, and Elise Estrada. There are over 80 artists who are first-time nominees this year and there’s a big theme of supporting the arts and cultivating those who are dedicated to their craft.
Update: There’s a young boy on stage right now playing the trumpet. I totally heard him rehearsing in a suite at the hotel earlier this evening, it sounds pretty great. Ndidi is up talking about Factor and present the evening’s first award. Honestly, the more I hear from all of these nominees, the more I love Canadian music.
(I’ll update this part of the post for all winners when they make their way up here to the Q&A room)
New Group of the Year: The Stills, “When we started this band 6 months ago we never knew things would happen to quickly,” they joked when accepting their award.
Francophone Album of the Year: Tous les sens, Ariane Moffatt
Blues Album of the Year: Ramblin’ Son, Julian Fauth
Raggae Album of the Year: Everything, Humble. He actually also won a Global Marijuana Music Award and is, “very happy to be in BC,” right now.
Recording Engineer of the Year: Kevin Churko for “Disappearing” and “The Big Bang” from Simon Collins. During his acceptance speech he got choked up while saying he was very proud to be Canadian.
World Music Album: Africa to Appalaccia, Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko. Upon coming through the door, “Wow, there’s like a whole other room up here.” Unfortunately Mansa Sissoko is not here but Jayme says he’s got an infectious smile and has much respect for his work.
Classical Album of the Year, Solo: Homage, James Ehnes
Classical Album of the Year, Large Ensemble: Beethoven, Ideals of the French Revolution, Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal/Kent Nagano
Classical Album of the Year, Vocal or Choral: Gloria! Vivaldi’s Angels, Ensemble Caprice. This was an all-female recording and vocal soloist Shannon Mercer came backstage, “we’re putting forth these amazing singers and I’m so proud to be Canadian.”
Classical Album of the Year, Composition: Flanders Fields Reflections, John Burge
Aboriginal Album of the Year: Running for the Drum, Buffy Sainte-Marie. “Be smart, take care of yourself, and your gift,” said Buffy with words of advice for the younger generation in the industry. Also, “if you’re a singer learn how to dance, it keeps you skinny!” With regards to aboriginal arts, Buffy says that “stuff you would see only on the reservation,” is now making its way out to the rest of the world. “We create not only music that comes from our grandparents but we’re also living in the big world – so we’re not just creating this for ourselves.” A question from the audience asks Buffy about why she looks so happy about this award since she’s already so decorated (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Genie Award etc.) and she says it’s the Junos – it’s always nice to be recognized in Canada.
There is now a special presentation for Fred Sherrat, broadcasting pioneer and former chief of CHUM who is given the 2009 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. “McClellan said the medium is the message but it’s the people that use the medium that are the message,” said Fred backstage with regards to starting out in media. “It’s people, people, people… … it’s not about you it’s about people.”
Adult Alternative Album of the Year: is it o.k., Serena Ryder. “She inspired me to get into something I never thought I would do in my life… have a fanny pack,” said Ryder with regards to icon Buffy Sainte-Marie. But in all seriousness, Ryder said Buffy is an inspirational woman with amazing energy. She noted that she got a cheque from Galaxy and will be donating it right away to MusicCounts.
Vocal Jazz: Lucky Molly Johnson
Contemporary Jazz: Embracing Voices, Jane Bunnett. The Vancouver Sun just asked her if she was “drunk with success” this evening… Jane is having such a great time and is very happy… and making some pretty hilarious comments.
Traditional Jazz Album of the Year: Second Time Around, Oliver Jones
Rock Album of the Year: Love at the End of the World, Sam Roberts
Instrumental Album of the Year: Nostomania, DJ Brace presents The Electric Nosehair Orchestra. We just heard the explanation of what exactly is… “Nostomania”. “I have something to represent, what I’m doing right now is very new,” he says using Controller One he can play live notes on my turntable. He says he has a regular day job on top of his music career so what he does is all about hard work. “I’m not quitting anytime soon.. …I’m a pretty real person and I like to have a real life but music definitely gets me motivated.”
Single of the Year: Dangerous, Kardinal Offishall
Children’s Record of the Year: Snacktime!, Barenaked Ladies. When asked how they were inspired to make an album for kids Ed Robertson said they were inspired by artists like They Might Be Giants and their work for children. A question from the audience asked if it’s hard to be taken seriously as a rock band, doing a children’s album the replied that they’ve been trying to be taken seriously for the last 20 years. “The four of us are really proud of what we’ve done.” “We have no regrets other than… shorts,” notes Tyler after a question about the trials of the last year (and losing a band member) from the audience.
Dance Recording of the Year: Random Album Title, Dead
Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, Solo: Proof of Love, Old Man Luedecke
Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, Group: Chic Gamine, Chic Gamine
Contemporary Christian: Ending is Beginning, Down Here
R&B/Soul Recording: The Love Chronicles Divine Brown
Sarah McLachlan is now accepting the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award.
Update: It is now Earth Hour - please shut off all unnecessary electronics and the lights if you can. The city of Vancouver will be going dark however here at the Juno Awards Gala Dinner things are operating on a normal level. I have unplugged my laptop, but it would be nice to hop out and take a look at our city’s contribution to this event. Hopefully John is at home in the dark, waiting for me when I get home within the hour.
Video of the Year (sponsored by VideoFACT) Honey Honey (Feist), Anthony Seck. “Artists are artists, there’s no patriotic agenda,” said Seck with regards to working with Judd Palmer and puppets in the video. “Kermit was my first love,” said Feist with regards to her work on Sesame Street and now this puppet video.
International Album of the Year: Viva La Vida, Coldplay
Alternative Album of the Year: Oceans Will Rise, The Stills. “This is an enormous unbelievable gift to us.” For those who were wondering why they won New Group even when they’ve been around for a while, “we’re really not a new group but we’re new to a lot of people.” When asked about the Awards being so commercial The Stills said that they really root for people like Kardinal Offishall who don’t have the big backing like say, Nickelback or Celine Dion – it actually helps artists.
CD/DVD Album Artwork: Anouk Pennel (Director/Designer); StÃ©phane Poirier (Illustrator)
Pop Album of the Year: Flavors of Entanglement, Alanis Morisette
Music DVD: Blue Road (Blue Rodeo), Christopher Mills
Country Recording of the Year: Beautiful Life, Doc Walker. “I think it was pretty cool that Canadian artists can build a career from scratch [in Canada].” The guys of Doc Walker say there’s a very healthy country music scene, industry and support system in Canada. “We’ve practiced our happy for the other guys clap before,” and Doc Walker was really excited to win tonight.
Just a quick note, Lainey was our host this evening (same as for the press conference) and after when I got my photo taken with her she instantly recognized me as “Miss604″ since we did in fact meet at the CBC Test the Nation TV show last year. I’m back home now (I’ll hit the afterparties tomorrow) so check back here tomorrow by 5:00pm PT for my coverage of the television broadcast.