The Juno Awards’ golden anniversary will be celebrated in the city where it all started 50 years ago, Toronto.
The first celebration of Canadian music, then called the Gold Leaf Awards, took place Feb. 23, 1970, for 250 people at St. Lawrence Hall. The show was started by Stan Klees and the late Walt Grealis, founders of defunct Canadian music trade RPM Weekly. The name was changed in 1971 to the Juno Awards, in honor of Pierre Juneau, champion of the Canadian Content regulations and first head of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunicatons Commission (CRTC). They were first televised on public broadcaster CBC in 1975.
The 50th anniversary of the Juno Awards will take place March 28, 2021, at Scotiabank Arena, and broadcast by CBC, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced today. It will be preceded, as usual, by Juno Week (March 22-28), which includes the Saturday gala dinner — at which the majority of awards are presented — the songwriters circle, Juno Cup hockey, music festival, and other auxiliary events. Expect CARAS to go big with this.
“50 years ago Walt Grealis and Stan Klees created the JUNO Awards right here in Toronto and it’s an honour to bring Canada’s biggest night in music back home to where it all started,” said Allan Reid, president & CEO, CARAS / The JUNO Awards. “This country continues to produce some of the most vibrant artists in the world and we invite you to join us in what will be the greatest national celebration of Canadian music ever.”
This will be the 26th time that Toronto has hosted the Junos, beginning with its first 20 years. Since then, the awards show has been opened to the public, selling tickets to arenas seating as many as 15,000 people, and moving to a different Canadian city each year.
“Toronto is proud to host The JUNO Awards for their 50th anniversary,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement. “As the biggest event in Canadian music, this is a great opportunity for Toronto to welcome The JUNO Awards back home to where it all began 50 years ago and highlight the city’s truly diverse yet quintessentially Canadian spirit. We look forward to hosting the best of Canadian music in 2021.”
According to CARAS, since the JUNO Awards hit the road in 2002, each host city has seen an average of over $10 million in economic impact of the awards broadcast, Juno Week and surrounding events.
“Ontario’s amazing artists, industry professionals and emerging talent exemplify that we offer the world in one province,” said Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, in a statement. “We’re ready to share it with the rest of the country by welcoming the JUNO Awards back to Ontario for their 50th anniversary, which will help drive our $25 billion culture sector and contribute to an overall economic footprint of $71 billion dollars when factoring in tourism, culture, and sport.”