B.C. artists scooped up many Juno Award nominations this year. But relatively few are taking home trophies. And B.C. singers or musicians won who could be considered “underrepresented artists”.
The best-known B.C.-born artist to win this year was Michael Bublé. He captured the Juno for Adult Contemporary Album of the year for Higher.
Pharis & Jason Romero, who live in the B.C. Interior town of Horsefly, also took home some hardware. They won in the Traditional Roots Album of the Year category for Tell ‘Em You Were Gold.
In addition, Teen Daze, who was born in Abbotsford, received the Juno for Electronic Album of the Year for Interior.
The Juno Awards also celebrated B.C.-based Nickelback. The band made it into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, albeit with a great deal of fanfare about their Alberta origins.
The newest inductees into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, @Nickelback pic.twitter.com/93o7sUY1DX
— The JUNO Awards (@TheJUNOAwards) March 14, 2023
Meanwhile, Coquitlam-based Tyler Shaw, who’s half-Chinese, came up short in the TikTok Fan Choice category, which was won by Avril Lavigne. Shaw was in good company—fellow B.C. nominee Lauren Spencer Smith along with superstars such as The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes couldn’t catch Lavigne.
Last November, Shaw spoke about his biracial identity with Pancouver in advance of performing at the Jade Music Festival in Vancouver.
A Vancouver first-time nominee for Global Music Album of the Year, the multi-talented Ruby Singh, did not win for his innovative Vox.Infold. In this category, the trophy went to Lenka Lichtenberg for Thieves of Dreams.
Two other Vancouver artists of colour, Mayumi Oshida and Amanda Sum, impressed fans with their music video for “Different Than Before”. However, the Juno in this category went to Floria Sigismondi for “Unholy Feat featuring Kim Petras”.
The Weeknd was the big winner at this year’s Junos, which took place from March 11 to 13. He received awards in five categories, including Album of the Year for Dawn FM and Artist of the Year.
However, the Weeknd didn’t attend the ceremony at Rogers Place in Edmonton to pick up his awards. The full list of winners is available here.
The Weeknd has now won 5 Juno Awards this year (so far). #JUNOS pic.twitter.com/VENgNBoZ5L
— CBC Music (@CBCMusic) June 7, 2021
Aysanabee performs at Juno Awards
Other Juno nominees with B.C. roots who didn’t win this year included: Michael Bublé and Lauren Spencer Smith for Artist of the Year; Carly Rae Jepsen (The Loneliest Time) for Pop Album of the Year; Nickelback (Get Rollin’) for Rock Album of the Year; Grimes (Shinigami Eyes) and Bob Moses (Afterglow) for Dance Recording of the Year; Dan Mangan (Being Somewhere) for Adult Alternative Album of the Year; and Hard Rubber Orchestra (Iguana) for Instrumental Album of the Year.
In the Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year category, some expected an Ontario artist, Aysanabee, to win the Juno for his breakout concept album Watin. The award ended up going to Zhawenim for Digging Roots.
Nevertheless, there was a consolation prize for Aysanabee, who was featured in Pancouver last month. He performed on-stage in Edmonton. He sang “We Were Here (It’s in my Blood)”, accompanied by inspiring cultural demonstrations from First Nations participants.
Check it out below. The voice you’ll hear at the start is his grandfather, for whom the album is named.
Follow Pancouver editor Charlie Smith on Twitter @charliesmithvcr. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia.