The 2014 Juno Awards!In the last weekend of March, music lovers across Canada came together in sunny, but cold, Winnipeg, Manitoba to celebrate the 2014 Juno Awards.

V-Bot loves the JunosAs a technology partner for the Junos, Vidyard sent Ian Hutchinson and I as official red carpet correspondents to take in the sights, and – more importantly – the sounds of the best the Canadian music scene has to offer.

The Junos (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys for the American crowd) are presented each year by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and are given out in a number of different categories including artist of the year, songwriter of the year and a fan choice award.

Ian, ready to rock the Junos
We arrived Friday afternoon to the buzz of the city preparing for the main ceremony taking place on Sunday evening. As you can see, Ian was pretty pumped.

As we soon learned, the Junos are about much more than a single award ceremony, or even a weekend of festivities. You only need to look at the official Juno Awards YouTube channel to see that the celebration of Canadian music goes year round, featuring exclusive performances and interviews that you wouldn’t get to see or hear on television and radio.

Behind the scenes

The weekend started off with a welcome reception at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights where we had the chance to meet Jeff Kula, this year’s winner of the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year award. MusiCounts is a charitable part of CARAS dedicated to promoting access to music educational programs across the country.

A real Juno AwardSaturday morning, we had a chance to take a behind the scenes tour of the award show and the gala dinner taking place that night. Figuring that I’d never win one myself, I managed to sneak this picture of the award statue that’s used during the rehearsal.

It was interesting to learn how the Junos had gone from a relatively small banquet dinner that was largely accessible to only music industry reps and artists, to a large scale concert production with a focus on bringing the fans closer to the musicians. When you think about it, the Junos are also using online video in a great way to bring fans all the action on demand too. By offering behind the scenes content on Juno TV, and YouTube, they’re making the celebration all the more accessible.

The Red Carpet & Awards Show

Sunday brought the awards ceremony, but first, we had a chance to check out the red carpet as the artists strolled in. In and among the media frenzy, I found myself in the background shots of a few different cameras, so if you’re wondering who the goofy looking person in the background of all those interviews is, it’s me.
Look Ma! I'm on TV!

The awards show was a mix of award presentations and live performances. The dual stage set up, both of which allowed fans to get right up to the stage, looked amazing when viewing the broadcast. The show opened with a mash up performance by Artist of the Year Serena Ryder and rapper Classified who were also two of the hosts of the show. My favourite performance was hands down Walk Off the Earth (who I had a chance to briefly gush at during the gala). WOTE is very good at YouTube and their use of online video is the reason why I found and love them so much!

Here’s a look at some of the action:

Walk off the Earth on the Red Carpet
Commander Hadfield on eTalk
Classified doin' his thing

The show ended with a tribute to Bachman-Turner Overdrive who had been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame earlier in the night and they turned up on stage to the tune of Takin’ Care of Business, which had fans both young and old on their feet.

As someone that can barely go a few minutes without singing, whistling, or simply listening to music, I was extremely lucky to have the chance to be the same room as so many talented individuals that weekend. Canadian musicians are far too often written off with only a select few being acknowledged as “good for a Canadian.” but it only takes seeing and hearing them to understand what astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield mentioned during his presentation that night – good music is an international language…even in space.

A huge thanks to Jill Primeau, Sr. Manager of Business Development at CARAS for hooking us Vidyardians up VIP style! Ian and I had a blast and we’re very proud to power the awesome Junos videos!

Jivan Ramsahai