Nova Scotia

The most memorable moments from the 2024 Juno Awards

The Juno Awards are taking over Halifax for the first time since 2006, and CBC Music is on the ground to catch every thrilling moment. Whether it’s performances from Canada’s rising stars, behind-the-scenes hijinks or Junofest showcases that bring the house down, we’ll be covering Juno Week so you don’t miss a thing.

There’s a lot happening, but we’ll make sure you’ll feel like you’re there. Scroll down for the highlights, and for more Junos coverage, head over to cbcmusic.ca/junos.


March 23: Honouring Ceremony

Saturday began with the Honouring Ceremony, which celebrated Indigenous musicians nominated at the 2024 Juno Awards. This year, there are 38 Indigenous nominees, with artists consistently nominated outside of the two contemporary and traditional Indigenous artist of the year categories. 

2024 Juno nominee Morgan Toney is joined onstage with dancer Sarah Prosper at the Honouring Ceremony. (CBC Music)

Just five years ago, when Jeremy Dutcher won his first Juno Award for his debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, Indigenous artists were mainly nominated in the Indigenous music album of the year category — the only category specific to Indigenous musicians at the time. This year, Dutcher is nominated for adult alternative album of the year. 

Fiddler Morgan Toney — who nabbed his first Juno nomination this year for traditional roots album of the year — opened with the Mi’kmaq Honour Song, and dancer Sarah Prosper, from Eskasoni First Nation, joined him onstage and got everyone up on their feet. 

Many of the nominees were at the Honouring Ceremony, including Elisapie, William Prince and Darren Metz from Snotty Nose Rez Kids. When Regional Chief Andrea Paul noticed Aysanabee in the crowd, she paused her speech to let him know how she felt about his music: “I’m totally fangirling, I think you’re incredible, I downloaded all your songs on Spotify,” she said, smiling. 

March 22: Juno Songwriters’ Circle, HaliFACT Climate Stage, Block Party, JunoFest

One of the most anticipated events of the week is the Junos Songwriters’ Circle, and this year’s edition really delivered on Friday night. Hosted by Damhnait Doyle and featuring performances in the first hour by William Prince, Luna Elle, Matt Andersen and Rêve, followed by an hour with Begonia, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Jeremy Dutcher and Katie Tupper, the Songwriters’ Circle was a captivating night of storytelling and incredible musicianship.

“[I’m] so proud to be from the Peguis First Nation, where there are so many talented youth who could be on this stage tonight,” said Prince, who’s up for songwriter and contemporary roots album of the year, said during his introduction. “So I’m just trying to be a good foot forward for that community … and sing songs long into my Cohen years. That’s what I’m aiming for.”

Luna Elle, who at 18 is the youngest artist to perform on the Songwriters’ Circle stage, sang her heartbreaker “9 to 5,” which is up for traditional R&B/soul recording of the year. “It was inspired by one of Beyoncé’s songs actually, called ‘Break My Soul.’ In that song she says to quit your job, and I was like, ‘What feels like a job to me, is a relationship. And if it feels like a job, I have to quit it,'” she finished, as she laughed along with the crowd.

Montreal singer Reve, who’s up for pop album of the year, is known for her chart-topping dance hits, but it was just her and a piano at the Songwriters’ Circle. “I’ve been using my piano as my therapist since I was four or five years old,” she said. “Some kids were good at sports, some kids were good at math, and it was just me, weird piano girl.”

During the show’s second hour, Winnipeg singer-songwriter Begonia, who’s up for adult alternative album of the year, let the audience into the story behind her first song, “Marigold”: “I grew up quite religious and I always knew that wasn’t quite where my path lay. I knew there was this alternative side of me, this queerness to me, this part that just didn’t feel like it quite fit into the mold of what I had grown up in. And this song comes from that angst, but also that elation of self-discovery.”

Dutcher, who’s also up for adult alternative album of the year, began his set with the sobering “The Land That Held Them as They Died.” “As a young Indigenous person in this country, I look at the news and I see things that are unacceptable,” he said, naming Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine as people whose stories he thinks of in this way. “And so we sing for them so that their stories are not forgotten. These people are not headlines, they’re people. So each verse of this song is looking at one of those stories and trying to put light there. And just say, I’ll hold your story for a minute. In the hopes that other people can too.”

It was a gorgeous and emotional evening, and Saskatoon R&B singer Katie Tupper put it best: “I’ve been crying since the second I stepped on this stage.”

Aleksi Campagne, a white man wearing a blue button-up shirt and black pants, plays the fiddle onstage.
Montreal singer-songwriter Aleksi Campagne performs at the HaliFACT Climate Stage on March 22. (CBC Music)

Earlier in the day, folks could visit the HaliFACT Climate Stage, a free, all-ages outdoor performance space set up outside the Halifax Central Library from Thursday, March 21, to Sunday, March 24. A partnership between Music Declares Emergency, the City of Halifax and the Junos, it’s a carbon-neutral stage powered by solar panels and bike pedalling — and if you bring your own bike down to help with pedalling you can get a free bike tune-up from the Ecology Action Centre.

On Friday, as the sun was starting to set and the chilly afternoon was getting chillier, Montreal singer-songwriter and fiddler Aleksi Campagne played to a cozy crowd, singing a mix of his own songs — including “Rome” — and a Neil Young cover.

Night two of the Juno Block Party kicked off tonight with Nova Scotian Maggie Andrew, whose live show brought out the raucous rock edge of her pop songs like “Better Than You.” Ontario acts filled out the rest of the night’s lineup, including indie-pop band Dizzy and rockers Good Kid, both of whom were performing in Halifax for the first time. (When the crowd cheered for Dizzy, singer Katie Munshaw’s mention of her hometown of Oshawa, she responded, “Really? Sick!”)

Good Kid’s high-energy set also served a practical purpose as guitarist Jacob Tsafatinos, who was wearing a T-shirt in the freezing Halifax waterfront venue, confessed to the audience that he was really cold and instructed everyone to “jump around as much as possible” to stay warm. Ottawa singer-songwriter Talk, a first-time Juno nominee who is tied for the second-most nominations this year with five, closed out the show with an enthralling set. The night ended with a surprise appearance by Toronto’s the Beaches, who joined Talk onstage to perform a spirited rendition of the band’s Blame My Ex cut, “Edge of the Earth.” 

Ottawa musician Talk performs onstage at the Juno Block Party in Halifax.
Ottawa musician Talk performs at the 2nd night of the Juno Block Party on March 22. (CARAS/Captivating Shutterbug Photography)

Over at the Sanctuary Arts Centre in Dartmouth, various musicians gathered for a heartwarming evening of music, storytelling and spreading love at one of many Junofest events taking place on Friday night. Folk singer-songwriter Julian Taylor reflected on the current landscape of the music industry and shared how grateful he felt that “so many artists support each other rather than compete with each other,” despite everyone being gathered this weekend for an awards show. “We all have stories to tell,” he added.

The Bearhead Sisters had a different lineup on this night as Allie Bearhead was eight months pregnant and unable to fly out for Juno weekend (“We’re excited to add a new singer to our family next month,” Carly Bearhead joked). In her place was a fourth Bearhead sister, Simone. Another Bearhead was also present: the sisters’ mother, who doesn’t fly often, but when she found out that her daughters were performing at this year’s Junofest, responded, “I don’t care, I’m coming on that plane!” Mama Bearhead was seated in the front row, recording much of the concert on her phone and beaming with pride. Mi’kmaq fiddler Morgan Toney capped off the showcase with his lively mix of traditional Mi’kmaq and Celtic music, getting the room to stomp and clap along to his songs, while challenging his bandmates by asking them, “How fast can you go?” With performers sitting and cheering each other through each set — with additional encouragement in the crowd from musicians like Amanda Rheaume, Hill Kourkoutis and Classified — this showcase felt like we were getting a special glimpse into a private jam session with close friends and family.

Over on the Halifax side of the harbour, Searchlight 2023 winner Mattmac performed to a packed, revved-up crowd at Pacifico, where he played a setlist that included his 2021 track “Break Me Down.” The rapper and producer from Garden Hill First Nation made sure the crowd was plenty warmed up for Montreal’s Rêve, whose dance moves and backup dancers took the crowd well past midnight. She ended the night with crowdpleaser “CTRL + ALT + DEL.” 

Searchlight 2023 winner Mattmac performs at Junofest in Halifax.
Searchlight 2023 winner Mattmac performs at Junofest in Halifax. (CBC Music)

Toronto R&B artist, and the 2021 winner of CBC Music’s Searchlight competition, Jhyve dazzled the audience at the Rox Live. When he wasn’t flexing his powerful falsetto, he was entertaining the audience with anecdotes and stories behind his songs like “Down” and “Human,” the latter of which earned him his first Juno nomination in 2018. He also shared his journey to Halifax, admitting how confident he was that he was completely prepared for this trip, only to realize that he had forgotten one important thing upon arriving at the airport: his guitar. “I literally left that motherf–ker in Toronto!” he exclaimed. Thankfully, with a replacement guitar in tow, the rest of his Junos experience so far has gone smoothly.   

March 21: Stories From the Studio, Block Party

Juno week kicked off with two excellent events on Thursday night: Stories from the Studio and the new three-day festival, Block Party. 

Damhnait Doyle, far left, hosts the 2024 Stories from the Studio, which included, from left to right, producers Sam Avant, Wondagurl, Joel Stouffer and Hill Kourkoutis.
Damhnait Doyle, far left, hosted the 2024 Stories from the Studio, which included, from left to right, producers Sam Avant, Wondagurl, Joel Stouffer and Hill Kourkoutis. (CBC Music)

CBC Music’s Damhnait Doyle hosted Stories from the Studio at the Halifax Central Library, welcoming panellists and 2024 Juno producer of the year nominees Wondagurl (for her work with Travis Scott), Hill Kourkoutis (for her work with Aysanabee), Joel Stouffer (for his work with Rêve) and Sam Avant (for his work with Charlotte Cardin).

The four producers chatted about their craft, and answered questions ranging from their favourite snacks to stave off hangriness to how they approach their first session with an artist.”I think it’s just a gut thing,” Stouffer said, of how he chooses whether to work with someone. “For me it’s just like, I hear it or I don’t. It’s not to say that if I don’t hear it, it’s not good; it’s just not me.” 

“I have to love you,” Kourkoutis added. “If I’m going to spend hours in a room with you, you have to be nice, and you have to be a good person, and I have to love you.”

Wondagurl had already worked with rappers Travis Scott and Jay Z by the time she was 16, and soon also started working with Drake. When Doyle asked her what it was like to walk into the room to work with Drake for the first time, Wondagurl’s answer was to the point: “It felt good, but I wasn’t overthinking it. I was just like, ‘I’m supposed to be here.'”

Avant spoke about joining the songwriting team of Jason Brando, Lubalin and Cardin for her song “Confetti,” and talked about working through many iterations of the now multi-Juno-nominated song, spanning different genres. “If the song is great on just guitar and voice, you know it’s going to be good,” he explained of their experimental process.

The Juno Block Party on the Halifax waterfront kicked off with New Brunswick hip-hop group City Natives, and saw tons of local talent grace the stage including Reeny, Haliey and Micah Smith, as well as Joce Reyome and Gary Beals. Classified closed out the night with a whole roster of guest stars, from Choclair to Skratch Bastid to David Myles.


Host Nelly Furtado is bringing the party to the 2024 Juno Awards on Sunday, March 24, at 8 p.m ET. Tune in on CBC-TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and CBC Listen, and stream globally on cbcmusic.ca/junos.

A designed graphic with turquoise background and the words "Join host Nelly Furtado at the Junos live Sunday, March 24, 8 p.m. ET" with a photo of Nelly holding a Juno.
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