The Grammys might have relocated to America’s largest city, but in Canada, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced that the 2019 Juno Awards and companion Juno Week festivities will be held March 11-17 in London, Ontario, with a population of roughly 400,000.
The host venue for the televised awards, March 17, is Budweiser Gardens, which placed at No. 5 on Billboard’s Canada’s Top 10 Venues of 2016 with ticket sales of $10.4M (USD) reported to Billboard Boxscore. The 10,500-capacity arena has held concerts by such top-drawing acts as Elton John, Carrie Underwood and The Tragically Hip, and hosted the Canadian Country Music Association Awards there in 2016. The show will be broadcast live on CBC.
“The experience of hosting the 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards was invaluable in helping London gain recognition and grow our reputation within the Canadian music scene,” said Brian Ohl, the general manager of Budweiser Gardens. “During that event, we were able to showcase the support that London has for Canadian musicians which ultimately helped pave the way for a successful Juno bid.”
This marks the first time the awards — which debuted in Toronto in 1970 — will be held in London since the Junos started moving to a different host cities each year, starting in 2002. It has been staged in small cities before, such as St. John’s, Halifax, Saskatoon, and Hamilton. This year, it will be held for the third time in Vancouver, March 25.
“We’re excited to be bringing the 2019 JUNOS to London. This city has seen incredible growth with its music scene and as such, is the perfect platform to celebrate Canadian talent,” Allan Reid, president & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts, said in a statement. “We want to thank the Government of Ontario for their support in bringing the JUNOS back to Ontario. We look forward to supporting and showcasing the city’s diverse music scene.”
The City of London has also announced that beginning Jan. 29, key music venues in the city will donate one dollar from every ticket sold to MusiCounts, CARAS’s music education charity. Venues participating include London Music Hall, Budweiser Gardens and Centennial Hall.
“We are thrilled to host the 2019 JUNO Week celebrations here in London. As one of Canada’s emerging cultural scenes we are excited to show the world how culturally rich and diverse London is,” said Chris Campbell, director of Culture & Entertainment Tourism, in a statement. “The JUNO Awards is London’s opportunity to bring artists and music fans to our great city to showcase our hospitality and our growing music scene and we could not be happier to be the 2019 Host City.”
With strong music heritage, London is home to several well respected Canadian artists including one of the first inductees into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the late Guy Lombardo and Juno Award winning producer Jack Richardson after whom the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Juno Award was named.
“Ontario is a key music hub in Canada and North America,” said Daiene Vernile, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, in a statement. “Our vibrant culture is driven by our exceptional talent and diversity, making Ontario a great fit for hosting the JUNO Awards in 2019. We have a thriving music industry that makes a significant contribution to Ontario’s economy by creating jobs, generating sales and building the province’s profile at an international level. I am thrilled to welcome the JUNOS to London.”
According to CARAS, since the Juno Awards started taking the show on the road, each host city has seen an average impact of $10 million (CAD) and a total impact of over $120 million (CAD).