Let's be real: not all awards shows are relevant, and they're certainly not all created equally. In the words of President Obama, supposedly, "Just because you have a Lakers jersey, doesn't mean you're Kobe Bryant." The Juno Awards—whose 2015 nominees were announced this week—might not be the Kobe Bryant of recognizing excellence in musical achievement, but they're not called "Canadian Grammys" for nothing, either. Below, we answer some of the most pressing questions about the ceremony. Namely, what the hell is it?
1. What are the Juno Awards?
The Junos are an annual music awards show put on by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), which is a non-profit industry group whose mandate is essentially to promote Canadian music. Members of the CARAS academy and industry experts vote on awards in categories that are pretty standard (Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year) and often genre-specific (Reggae Recording of the Year, Electronic Album of the Year). The Junos' global impact is significantly smaller than the Grammys, in part because Canada's population is a tenth the size of the United States', but within the Canadian industry, the parallel stands.
2. When are they broadcast?
The 2015 Juno Awards will be broadcast live on March 15th from Hamilton, Ontario, a city just outside of Toronto that might best be known as home to OVO's own OB O'Brien. A host hasn't yet been announced, but previous hosts have included Drake and Shania Twain. Last year's ceremony was watched by 1.4 million people across Canada.
3. Who is nominated this year?
In addition to usual Canadian suspects like Arcade Fire, Drake, and The Weeknd, this year's nominees include Soundcloud darling Ryan Hemsworth (Electronic Album), grime-leaning MC Tre Mission (Rap Recording), Polaris Prize winner Tanya Tagaq (Alternative Album), Chromeo (Best Group), and Toronto boom-bap supergroup Naturally Born Strangers (Rap Recording). Find the rest of the nominees here.
4. Who has won Junos in previous years?
Pretty much any Canadian musician you can think of: Caribou, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Tegan and Sara, Kardinal Offishall, Feist, Nickelback, and among dozens of others.
a. How many has Drake won?
Five, so far. He's up for another two this year: Fan Choice Award and Single of the Year, for "Hold On, We're Going Home."
5. What's the most interesting thing that ever happened there?
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