SOCAN is everywhere at 2017 JUNO Awards

Sarah McLachlan was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2017 JUNO Awards. (Photo: Tiana Feng)
April 3, 2017

SOCAN was at the centre of an action-packed JUNO weekend in Ottawa, presenting the pre-broadcast Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, April 1, 2017, as well as the Songwriter of the Year Award at Sunday night’s live-broadcast awards show, and the SOCAN-sponsored JUNO Songwriters’ Circle the same day.

The JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards, presented by SOCAN – featuring most of the 2017 JUNO Award presentations and special performances by various nominees – was streamed live on JUNO TV, reaching hundreds of thousands of music fans across Canada. During the star-studded affair, SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste welcomed the attendees by praising our members’ world-conquering music, and championing SOCAN’s efforts on their behalf.

On Sunday, SOCAN co-presented the JUNO Songwriters’ Circle – known as "the jewel of JUNO week" – bringing together songwriters to play their songs and share the stories behind them. This year's event featured especially strong performances and funny stories from host Bruce Cockburn, as well as first-round participants Colin Linden, Lisa Leblanc, and Paul Murphy, and second-round participants Donovan Woods, Daniel Caesar, and Chantal Kreviazuk.

Ruth B, pictured here during her interview with SOCAN, won the 2017 JUNO Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and played live on the broadcast. (Photo: Tiana Feng)

Gord Downie won a total of five JUNO awards over the weekend, both as a solo artist and with The Tragically Hip, including Songwriter of the Year – presented by SOCAN, via Josh Ramsay (of Marianas Trench) and Delaney Jane, during the televised broadcast.  The late Leonard Cohen was honoured as Artist of the Year, and his last recording You Want It Darker as Album of the Year. Cohen received a musical tribute from Feist, and a spoken one from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire, both during Sunday night’s broadcast. Sarah McLachlan, who’s sold more than 30 million albums, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and performed on the televised show. Alessia Cara won Pop Album of the Year for Know-It-All, while Ruth B won for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and Shawn Mendes won the JUNO Fan Choice Award. For a complete list of winners, click here.

During JUNO weekend, SOCAN also found the time to present three No. 1 Song Awards: one to the four original members of Billy Talent for their song "Fear of Heights" topping the Nielsen BDS Album Rock Chart on Aug. 21, 2016; one to the three members of A Tribe Called Red for their song "R.E.D." (featuring Yasiin Bey, Narcy, and Black Bear) peaking on the MuchMusic Countdown chart on Nov. 18, 2016; and one to Brian West for co-writing the Arkells’ “Private School,” which topped the Nielsen BDS Modern Rock Chart on Aug. 21, 2016.

Backstage at the Saturday night gala dinner, winners were interviewed on video by SOCAN after receiving their awards onstage, and we also conducted other, private, exclusive interviews with nominated and winning members, some of whom also played live on the Sunday night broadcast. Among those we spoke to were Ruth B, Kaytranada, The Strumbellas’ Simon Ward & Isabel Ritchie, Laurence Nerbonne, A Tribe Called Red, July Talk, Billy Talent, Andy Shauf, Lisa Leblanc, Donovan Woods, Koriass, and Wintersleep’s Loel Campbell. As well, we chatted with SOCAN members on the red carpet and during the backstage media conference at the televised gala – including Sarah McLachlan, Daniel Caesar, Alessia Cara, Chantal Kreviazuk, Adam Cohen (son of Leonard), Bob Moses, Shaun Frank and more.

In the coming days and weeks, SOCAN will share video highlights, interviews and photos from the 2017 JUNO weekend, so stay tuned to