Canada

Nelly Furtado leads big-name performers at Sunday’s Juno Awards

Nelly Furtado will get the party started this weekend as some of the biggest names in Canadian music gather in Halifax for the 53rd Juno Awards.

The 10-time Juno-winning pop singer, who has an album on the way this year, will open with a medley of her hits and host Sunday’s main event at Scotiabank Centre, followed by performances by established and rising stars from across the country.

“It really is her party and her show,” Lindsay Cox, the broadcast’s creative producer and senior vice-president of Insight Productions, told CBC’s Eli Glasner.

“But then throughout the broadcast, there’s so many moments — really emotional moments, really important moments and really special moments, hearing these artists sing their songs to a television crowd.”

Allison Russell performs onstage for the 22nd Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last year. Russell will take the stage at Sunday’s Juno Awards ceremony. (Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music)

Montreal folk singer Allison Russell, who is fresh off a Grammy win and is up for three Junos, will team up with triple-Juno-nominated Aysanabee for a tribute to folk singer Gordon Lightfoot and The Band guitarist Robbie Robertson, two Canadian icons who died last year.

Another Sunday pairing will see multitalented northern Quebec Inuk artist Elisapie team up with New Brunswick-born Juno- and Polaris Prize-winning Jeremy Dutcher, an Indigenous pianist and composer.

WATCH | Aysanabee shares what his 3 Juno noms mean to him: 

What it means for Aysanabee to be nominated for 3 Juno Awards

Aysanabee, an Oji-Cree musician from Northwestern Ontario, is nominated for three Juno Awards. Ahead of the ceremony, the singer-songwriter sat down with CBC’s Shannon Martin to discuss what the nominations mean to him and his upcoming tribute performance to Gordon Lightfoot and Robbie Robertson.

Charlotte Cardin, a Montreal pop singer who won four awards at the 2022 Junos, will also perform and is poised for another big year with six nominations — more than any other artist — including Album and Artist of the Year.

“We execute on behalf of the artists. It’s very, very collaborative, but we really listen so that each performance is bespoke and really represents who they are,” Cox said.

A woman holds an award statue high in the air with one hand, and a microphone in front of her face with the other.
Charlotte Cardin holds an award statue during the 51st JUNO Awards in Toronto in 2022, where she won four awards. This year, she’s nominated for six. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Toronto’s The Beaches, whose song Blame Brett went viral last year, are the most high-profile rock band on the performers’ list, and will look to pull off a first-time Group of the Year win as they go up against past winners Nickelback, Loud Luxury, Walk Off the Earth and Arkells.

Furtado previously hosted the 2007 Junos in Saskatoon, where she descended from the rafters dressed like a bird. Reviewing her past hosting experience with CBC Music, Furtado said she will cut out the comedy this time around.

The trick is to just “detach and try your best,” she said.

“Don’t troll me. Don’t hate on me. Thank you.”

WATCH | Nelly Furtado revisits her last Junos hosting gig in 2007: 

Nelly Furtado | My Junos Moment

We asked Nelly Furtado to rewatch her 2007 Junos hosting gig and asked what she learned from it before hosting again in 2024

Canadian rap legend Maestro Fresh Wes, a.k.a. Wesley Williams, will also make an appearance to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

His album Symphony in Effect made him the first Black Canadian artist to score a platinum album, and won the first-ever Juno for Rap Recording of the Year in 1991. Williams told CBC Music that the year he won that historic Juno, he was inspired seeing Leonard Cohen’s hall induction.

“Who would have thought back then?” Williams said. “That’s the memory that I had in my mind, you know. And now I’m here right now, doing something that he got [to do] years ago.”

A man in a white blazer and black slacks poses on a red carpet.
Maestro Fresh Wes will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame Sunday. (CARAS/iPhoto)

Toronto R&B sensation Daniel Caesar and Ottawa newcomer Talk are among the biggest acts to watch this year, with five nominations apiece, including both for Album of the Year.

Calgary pop singer Tate McRae could see her first win, with three nominations, adding to her nine previous Juno nods, while Amanda Marshall, who rose to stardom in the 1990s, might break her Juno curse with her 12th career nomination.

A man holds up an award statue while talking into a microphone.
Daniel Caesar holds up his award at the 2018 Junos in Vancouver. Caesar is nominated for five awards this year. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Veteran country star Shania Twain, meanwhile, will have a chance to add to her 13 Juno wins, with two nods this year.

Some fresh faces to watch include Markham, Ont., actor-turned-rapper Connor Price, who is up for three awards, as well as Toronto pop singer Lu Kala and Surrey, B.C.-based Punjabi pop singer Karan Aujla, with two nods each.

The Saturday night ceremony, where more than 40 Junos will be given out before Sunday’s main event, will be co-hosted by Aba Amuquandoh, anchor on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and host of Best in Miniature, and CBC Music’s Damhnait Doyle, and will be live-streamed at cbcmusic.ca/junos starting at 5 p.m. ET/6 p.m. AT.

The Sunday show will stream live across Canada from 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. AT on CBC-TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen and globally at cbcmusic.ca/junos and CBC Music’s YouTube page.

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