SOCAN members Arcade Fire, Diana Krall, the late Gord Downie each win multiple honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

Diana Krall backstage with SOCAN at the 2018 JUNO Awards. (Photo: Jeff Knights)
March 26, 2018

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The late Gord Downie won three honours, and Arcade Fire and Diana Krall won two each, during JUNO Awards weekend in Vancouver, on March 23-25, 2018. Downie was posthumously recognized in the categories of Artist of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year (for Introduce Yerself), as well as Songwriter of the Year (along with co-writer Kevin Drew), the latter award presented by SOCAN. Arcade Fire won Album of the Year for Everything Now, as well as the International Achievement Award, while Diana Krall earned the win for both Vocal Jazz Album and Producer of the Year.

As part of the JUNO Awards Broadcast on Sunday, March 25, Arcade Fire played a rousing rendition of the title track of Everything Now. Krall, accompanied by her rhythm section, performed a vocal duet with charming host Michael Bublé, of the jazz standard “L-O-V-E.” The late Tragically Hip frontman Downie was honoured by his fellow Kingston native Sarah Harmer, with a rendition of “Introduce Yerself,” and by City and Colour, who offered a moving version of “Bobcaygoen” – during which Harmer joined him on harmonies for the last chorus.

Other highlights of the show included Barenaked Ladies’ induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and performing reunion with founding member Steven Page; and the Northern Touch rappers (Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, The Rascalz, Thrust and Checkmate) unexpectedly reprising their groundbreaking hip-hop hit “Northern Touch” in an a cappella version. The  night also presented standout emotional performances from Breakthrough Artist of the Year Jessie Reyez, R&B/Soul Recording of the Year winner (for Freudian) Daniel Ceasar, Pop Album of the Year winner (for Skin & Earth) Lights, and high-energy Nunavut band of nominees The Jerry Cans.

SOCAN was at the centre of the action-packed weekend, presenting the pre-broadcast JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, March 24, 2018, including the Songwriter of the Year Award, and the SOCAN-sponsored JUNO Songwriters’ Circle the same day.

The Gala Dinner & Awards – featuring most of the 2018 JUNO Award presentations and special performances by various nominees – was streamed live on cbc.ca, 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. During the evening, Daniel Bélanger won the Francophone Album of the Year Award for Paloma, while Jocelyn Morlock earned the Classical Composition of the Year honour for My Name is Amanda Todd. 

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 hosts Jann Arden and Bob Rock, as well as first-round participants Scott Helman, Rose Cousins, and Iskwé, and second-round participants Jim Cuddy and Ruth B.

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. Among those we spoke to were Ruth B, Scott Helman, Rose Cousins, Diana Krall, The Beaches, and Jim Cuddy, as well as Kinnie Starr, whose movie Play Your Gender received a special screening during JUNO Week. Additionally, we chatted with SOCAN members on the red carpet and during the backstage media conference at the televised gala.

In the coming days and weeks, socan.ca will share video highlights, interviews and photos from the 2018 JUNO weekend, so please stay tuned to socan.ca. Below is the first, of several JUNO nominees each offering their best piece of advice for songwriters just starting out.