Canada's Juno Awards will celebrate its upcoming 40th anniversary by staging a series of live concerts and tied-in events in the run-up to next year's ceremony.

Beginning Dec. 4 at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern venue, Canadian indie labels Six Shooter Records and Toronto-based artist management company Starfish Entertainment will host the first in a series of monthly live events celebrating Canadian artists and music from the past four decades.

Independent imprints Last Gang Entertainment, Dine Alone Records and MapleMusic Recordings, are also set to curate nights as part of the anniversary series. No artists have currently been announced for the gigs, which take place over four successive months and wrap March 5.

Next year's Juno Awards ceremony is scheduled for March 27 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

Speaking at an industry launch event, held yesterday (Oct. 27) at Toronto's St. Lawrence Hall, where the inaugural Juno Awards (then called the Gold Leaf Awards) were held in 1970, Melanie Berry, president and CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced a program of tie-in events to mark the award's 40th anniversary.

"Tonight has been 40 years in the making -- 40 years of honoring our country's music industry and 40 years of celebrating Canada's strong, vibrant and diverse musical culture," said Berry at the launch event, which was also attended by seven-time Juno Award winners Billy Talent.

In line with previous years, the 2011 Juno Awards will be accompanied by a week-long series of gigs, fashion, literature and events in its host city, running Mar. 21-27. A classical event, entitled "Ovation: Celebrating 40 Years of the JUNO Awards" will additionally be staged at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall, Mar. 22, Hosted by Peter Oundjian, Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

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