The 43rd annual Juno Awards will be bringing a host of Toronto artists to the 'wards ceremony in Winnipeg.
This morning, the nominees for the 2014 Juno Awards were announced at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto—and we’re happy to report that plenty of local acts and promising newcomers made the cut.
Beloved Montreal-based indie-rock group Arcade Fire swept this year’s nominations with appearances in six categories: the JUNO fan choice award, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Alternative Album of the year. Michael Bublé and Serena Ryder both fared nearly as well with five nominations apiece, while Celine Dion, Drake, Hedley, and Tegan and Sara each netted nominations in four categories. Despite these multiple appearances and a host of familiar names, there were also 80 first-time Juno nominees whose names joined these well-known artists.
Superstars Drake and Serena Ryder weren’t the only Toronto artists to earn nominations this year—punk rockers the Flatliners, country-rock group Blue Rodeo, half of country duo Autumn Hill, indie-rock band July Talk, electronic artist Ryan Hemsworth, and “noh-wave” art-rock collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan were among the locals to get a Juno nod. Progressive metal band Protest the Hero, from Whitby, Ontario, snagged a nomination in the Metal/Hard Album of the Year category, and Walk Off The Earth, from nearby Burlington, was also honoured with nominations.
As well as announcing the nominees, the Juno Awards committee and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the first round of performers that will be gracing the stage during the awards ceremony on March 30 in Winnipeg: City and Colour, Serena Ryder, Tegan and Sara, Walk Off The Earth, and Robin Thicke.
Speaking of Thicke, the dual citizen’s prominent inclusion in this year’s Juno programming, both as a performer and nominee in three categories, raised a few eyebrows. Thicke was lauded during the nomination announcement for his “massive hit,” the titular track on his latest record Blurred Lines—which has been widely criticized for misogyny and promoting rape culture.
A full list of the 2014 nominees can be found on the Juno Awards’ website.