The JUNO Awards

In case you haven’t already heard, Hamilton is host of The JUNO Awards in 2015! We haven’t hosted the JUNOS since 2001, so it goes without saying that a lot has changed here since then and we have a lot to show off to the rest of Canada! It’s going to be such an exciting time in the city. March 15th will roll around quickly, but in the meantime, there’s lots going on.

I was thrilled to be at the official press conference last Tuesday, which kicked off #TurnItOn Tuesdays. The goal is to become even more engaged with Canadian music and to, well, Turn It On! On Tuesdays, look out for special social media content from Tourism Hamilton featuring Hamilton music facts. Everyone is encouraged to share their own. Share your favourite local band, talk up a show you’re looking forward to, share a Hamilton music memory. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #TurnItOn.

Went in with one hat and left with two. Right: Hamilton toque from White Elephant. Left: JUNOs toque
Went in with one hat and left with two. Right: Hamilton toque from White Elephant. Left: JUNOs toque

The press conference took place in beautiful Catherine North Studios. Funnily enough, I first toured the studio two years ago, in December 2012. It was a nice full circle moment for me to be back and to see current owners Scott Peacock, Dan Hosh, and Tristan Miller.

Keeping us alert this early in the morning (although my excitement was keeping me pretty wide-eyed!) was new tea shop Parkermanns. They served up Relay Coffee Roaster (Red Hill Coffee’s new branding) and scrumptious scones. The coconut lime one I had was lovely. I’m all about the treats at these things.

Terra Lightfoot performing at the press conference
Terra Lightfoot performing at the press conference

It was all music industry professionals, journalists, musicians, and people who work for the City who were there, and it really meant a lot to be amongst such company. The event was bookended nicely by performances by two Hamilton talents. Hachey the MouthPEACE kicked things off. For those who had never seen him before, they were in awe. Having seen him countless times before, I was still in awe. Terra Lightfoot closed the conference with a gorgeous song.

We heard from lots of speakers, including Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who remarked that it was just his second day in office. He was good-natured and funny; a good representative for the city. We also heard from President & CEO of CARAS, The JUNOs, and MusiCounts, Allan Reid. And of course, a major force behind the JUNOs locally, Tim Potocic of Sonic Unyon, who even dropped the ‘ol f-bomb in his excitement. He hinted at special pop-up performances that will be happening from now until the JUNOs, so be ready for those!

We also got the first scoop on the first wave of performers at the JUNOs. I furiously live tweeted the news: MAGIC!Hedley, Kiesza, and Shawn Mendes will all be performing.

Photo by Tourism Hamilton
Photo by Tourism Hamilton

A few important things to note:

  • Tickets to the JUNOs are now on sale! Check out Ticketmaster for info.
  • Deadline for JUNOs Turn It On Songwriter Contest is January 30th, 2015. Local songwriters must create a song using the JUNOs tagline “Turn It On.” Finalists will perform before a panel of judges for a chance to win a cash prize and the opportunity to perform the song during JUNO Week. (More info here)
  • JUNO Week is March 9-15. Events will be happening at various locations including Lime Ridge Mall, Hamilton Public Library, Art Gallery of Hamilton, and more.
  • JUNO Fest takes place the weekend before the awards, March 13-14. It will feature over 100 bands at over a dozen venues. Submissions to play JUNO Fest close this Friday, December 19th.

More updates to come as we prep for the Awards!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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