For the first time since 2019, the Juno Awards will return as an in-person event in May, with Montreal’s Charlotte Cardin and globally known Canucks Justin Bieber and the Weeknd emerging as the leading contenders in nominations announced Tuesday.
Cardin fronts the pack of nominees with six nominations, while Bieber and the Weeknd follow with five apiece. Shawn Mendes, Pressa and Jessia each have four.
The Junos will be held outdoors for the first time, with the 51st ceremony being held May 15 at Budweiser Stage in Toronto. The show will be televised nationally on CBC and streamed globally on various CBC platforms.
Canadian-born actor Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings”) will host the night. Among the performers will be Avril Lavigne, Arkells, Mustafa and Charlotte Cardin, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Junos are returning as a live event after two years of COVID caution. Canada’s biggest awards night was canceled in March 2020 at the last minute, signaling a lengthy on-and-off again lockdown the country has just come out of and was packaged only for TV last year, kiboshing big 50th anniversary plans.
“Canadian artists are making themselves heard around the world and I can’t wait to celebrate all the talent this amazing country has to offer,” said Liu in a pre-taped video message.
The Juno opening night awards, previously called the gala dinner and awards, at which the majority of awards are handed out, will take place the previous night and live-streamed on CBC Gem and globally at cbcmusic.ca/junos.
Forty-six awards will be handed out in total over the two days, including five new categories: contemporary Indigenous artist or group, traditional Indigenous artist or group, underground dance single, rap album/EP and rap single.
Up for international album are releases by Adele, Doja Cat, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and =the Kid Laroi. Album of the year is between Cardin, JP Saxe, Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Tata McRae. Battling it out for artist of the year are Cardin, Saxe, Bieber, Mendes and the Weeknd. Group of the year is down to Arkells, Loud Luxury, Mother Mother, the Reklaws and Valley.
Fan choice is a lengthy and varied list: 347aidan, bbno$, Charlotte Cardin, Forest Blakk, Jessia, Justin Bieber, Loud Luxury, Pressa, Mendes and the Weeknd.
The full list of nominees can be found here.