When it comes to hosting national events like the Grey Cup and Scotties, we’ve got it down to a science. The Junos, though, are a different kettle of fish. They fall firmly in the arts/culture category, and the area they focus on (contemporary Canadian Music) is terra incognito for more than a few people.
Without tooting our own horn too much, I think Prairie Dog does a reasonable job of covering the Canadian indie pop, rock and folk music scene. Other media outlets in the city though (cough, commercial radio, cough) not so much. The Leader-Post has its moments too, but it also covers a lot of retro cheese.
When it comes to hosting the Junos, we’ll be hard-pressed to measure up to the standard of Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and other indie music hotbeds. But hopefully everything will run smoothly, and we’ll show the rest of Canada that there’s more to us than just our obsession with watching green-clad men in tight uniforms play football. Here’s a breakdown of events that will be happening in the next few days.
Tonight, there’s a live broadcast of the CBC radio program Q With Jian Ghomeshi at Conexus Arts Centre (7 p.m. $22-$27). Guests will include Tom Cochrane, k.d. lang, Corb Lund, Bahamas and Dragonette. Also on tonight is a concert under the bigtop at City Square Plaza that will feature the Grapes of Wrath with Fly Points, Indigo Joseph and Jason Plumb & the Willing. It gets going at 5 p.m. and tickets are $15.
Friday and Saturday the feature event is JunoFest. It’s a showcase of over 100 bands (perhaps 40 per cent from Saskatchewan, the rest from across the country) that takes place at 17 venues in Regina and Moose Jaw. You can pay individual admission charges at the venues, but your best bet is to pick up a wrist band for $30 that will grant you priority access to all the venues. We’re publishing a JunoFest guide in our April 18 issue so it will give you the lowdown on everyone who will be performing. Or visit the Juno website and check the events tab.
Also on Friday, the Juno Cup, which pits a team of former NHLers against a team of Canadian musicians goes in Moose Jaw at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the second night of JunoFest will be held, along with Juno Fan Fare, a meet and greet between fans and musicians that goes at the Cornwall Centre from noon to 3 p.m. Then on Sunday, there’s the Juno Songwriters’ Circle at Casino Regina from noon to 2 p.m. It’s being hosted by Tom Cochrane and will feature participation from Kathleen Edwards, Colin James, Bahamas, Danny Michel and more. It will be followed by the Juno Awards gala at Brandt Centre at 5:45 p.m. The gala, by the way, will also be simulcast at City Square Plaza.
To close, here’s Classified’s 2010 video for “Oh… Canada”. He’ll be in town for JunoFest, headlining a show at City Square Plaza on Saturday night: