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Banner year for Canadian music celebrated at 2016 JUNO Awards in Calgary

The 45th annual JUNO Awards took place Sunday night in Calgary, AB, with thousands of music fans selling out The Scotiabank Saddledome to celebrate a spectacular year in Canadian music, and kick-off the peak season of the city’s Year Of Music. With performances by Bryan Adams, Shawn Mendes, Dean Brody and more, CTV’s 2016 JUNO Awards broadcast attracted an average of 1.4 million viewers, an increase of 2% from the 2015 show.

Toronto’s The Weeknd took home the most JUNO statuettes, with the R&B singer/songwriter collecting three awards during Saturday’s Gala Dinner, and two awards during Sunday’s broadcast including Album Of The Year (sponsored by Music Canada) for the Double Platinum album Beauty Behind The Madness. Brampton, ON newcomer Alessia Cara picked up her first JUNO for Breakthrough Artist of the Year following the success of her Platinum debut single “Here”, which she also performed during the broadcast.

On Sunday night, legendary singer/songwriter Burton Cummings was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist. 2016 JUNOS host Jann Arden, and nominees Shawn Hook and The Tenors, closed out the evening with a tribute performance to Cummings, which was followed by the celebrated artist taking to the stage with his band The Carpet Frogs.

During Saturday night’s Gala Dinner, Régine Chassagne of Montreal’s Arcade Fire accepted the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for the band’s humanitarian efforts in Haiti. In 2006, Arcade Fire began donating a dollar of each concert ticket sold to global health organization Partners in Health and has since raised over $4 million, trained volunteers, and engaged fans in supporting Haiti.

Former Windsor CKLW music director Rosalie Trombley was also honoured at Saturday’s Gala, receiving the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award which recognizes individuals who have made an impact on the Canadian music industry. Music legends Bob Seger, Gordon Lightfoot, Randy Bachman and Bob Ezrin, as well as Trombley’s children, provided touching remarks in a video tribute to the “the girl with the golden ear,” hosted by Sook-Yin Lee.

In the weekend leading up to Sunday’s awards broadcast, more than 100 acts including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jim Cuddy, Lee Harvey Osmond, Whitehorse, Autumn Hill, Cancer Bats, and Rich Aucoin performed across 15 venues for the multi-day JUNOfest. By Friday night, wristbands to the festival had officially sold out, and venues across the city were buzzing with excitement for the jam-packed JUNO Week festival.

“I don’t think I’ve seen, honestly, the response to our tickets as strong in years,” said Allan Reid, CEO and President of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. “JUNOFest (was) sold out, all of the clubs were absolutely packed (Friday) night, JUNO Fan Fare was packed, Junior JUNOS was packed — sold out. So we’re thrilled to be back here. It’s been an incredible reception. And obviously the weather doesn’t hurt either. Everybody has all smiles on their faces right now.”

According to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, JUNO Week is expected to make an economic impact between 10 and 15 million dollars for the city of Calgary. “One of the reasons that we’re doing the Year of Music this year is to have kind of a different view of the city of Calgary as we’re facing this economic downturn, so that people across Canada are thinking of us as a place of creativity and innovation,” Nenshi told reporters backstage.

From 2007 to 2015 the JUNO Awards have created a total economic impact of almost $99 million, including $11 million for the 2012 JUNO Awards in Ottawa, $14 million for the 2011 JUNO Awards in Toronto, and $10 million for the 2015 JUNO Awards in Hamilton. During the broadcast, Mayor Nenshi passed a JUNO award to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, as the city will once again host the JUNOS in 2017 for its year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Some JUNO attendees were also given a sneak peak tour of the National Music Centre, which is expected to open to the public this summer and provide an economic and cultural boost to the city.

“There’s no doubt that the launch of the National Music Centre is first and foremost one of the most intriguing points of hosting the Junos this year,” Marco De Iaco, chair of the Juno Awards host committee OutLoudYYC, told the Calgary Herald leading up to JUNO Week. “It was really the reason why we wanted to bring it back in this year, to get the National Music Centre out on the right foot.”

The National Music Centre was also a part of the University of Calgary’s announcement of Universal Music Canada’s donation of EMI Music Canada’s complete archives to the institution’s Library & Cultural Resources. The National Music Centre’s partnership with the university will allow for future public exhibitions and educational programming surrounding the archives.

The full list of 2016 JUNO Award winners can be found here.

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