Nickelback, Drake, Hedley, Feist, Dan Mangan, and City and Colour are the top nominees for the 2012 Juno Awards with four apiece, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) revealed during a press conference in Toronto this morning at the Design Exchange.
The televised awards on CTV, which take place April 1 in the nation's capital, Ottawa, at Scotiabank Place, will also be hosted by Montreal-born icon William Shatner, who released an album last year called Seeking Major Tom featuring Steve Miller, Lyle Lovett, Ritchie Blackmore and others (it was not nominated). The majority of the 41 awards, however, will be given out the evening before at a private industry gala.
Helping to announce the awards were artists deadmau5, Meaghan Smith and Cuff The Duke.
Nickelback is up for Juno Fan Choice, Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Album of the Year (sponsored by Music Canada); Drake for Juno Fan Choice, Album of the Year (sponsored by Music Canada), Artist of the Year and Rap Recording of the Year; City and Colour for Juno Fan Choice, Artist of the Year, Single of the Year and Songwriter of the Year (sponsored by SiriusXM Canada); and Hedley for Juno Fan Choice, Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.
Depending on who's counting, Feist is up for five: Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year (sponsored by SiriusXM Canada), Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Music DVD of the Year, plus art directors of her album, Metals, received a nomination for Recording Package of the Year.
Receiving three nominations each are Avril Lavigne for Juno Fan Choice, Album of the Year (sponsored by Music Canada) and Pop Album of the Year; deadmau5 for Juno Fan Choice, Artist of the Year and Dance Recording of the Year; and Michael Bublé for Juno Fan Choice, Album of the Year (sponsored by Music Canada) and Artist of the Year.
Nickelback and Hedley have also been added to the lineup of performers on the televised broadcast. They will join previously announced artists City and Colour, deadmau5, Feist and the 2012 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees Blue Rodeo (who will be joined by special guest Sarah McLachlan). More performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Among the 99 first-time nominees in the New Group of the Year category (sponsored by FACTOR and Radio Starmaker Fund) are Braids, Hey Rosetta!, Mother Mother, The Rural Alberta Advantage and The Sheepdogs; and in the New Artist of the Year category (sponsored by FACTOR and Radio Starmaker Fund) Dan Mangan, Alyssa Reid, Diamond Rings, JRDN and Lindi Ortega.
Mangan also received nods in categories for Songwriter of the Year (sponsored by SiriusXM Canada), Alternative Album of the Year (sponsored by Long & McQuade) and Video of the Year (sponsored by MuchFACT, exclusively funded by Bell Media).
The 2012 Juno Awards has also added a new category for Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year. Up for this first-ever honour are Anvil ( Juggernaut of Justice), Cauldron ( Burning Fortune), Devin Townsend Project ( Deconstruction), Fuck The Facts ( Die Miserable) and Ken Mode ( Venerable).
Sponsors of the this year's Junos include FACTOR, Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters and The Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage's "Canada Music Fund," Radio Starmaker Fund, National Capital Commission (NCC), Province of Ontario, and the City of Ottawa. "Broadcast sponsors of THE 2012 JUNO AWARDS are Chevrolet, Garnier, Rogers and TD Canada Trust."
The awards are preceded by Juno Week, which kicks off March 26 and includes all kinds of Juno-affiliated events, such as the Juno Cup hockey game and a music festival in the local clubs.