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Not that we’re taking numbers or keeping score, but if today’s Juno Awards nominations suggest anything, it’s that Toronto is indeed the centre of the universe in Canada, especially where the best artists, albums, and songwriters are concerned.
First, the positive spin, because, you know, the Juno aren’t a competition, they are a celebration of our big and beautiful country.
Starting at the top of the official nomination list and working down, those from Vancouver who have reason to celebrate include Lauren-Spencer Smith (TikTok Juno Fan Choice/Artist of the Year), Michael Bublé (Artist of the Year), Rare Americans (Breakthrough Artists of the Year), Orville Peck (Country Album of the Year), Dan Mangan (Adult Alternative Album of the Year for Being Somewhere), and Carly Rae Jepsen (Pop Album of the Year for The Loneliest Time).
From there, take a bow Nickelback (Rock Album of the Year for Get Rollin’), Renee Rosnes (Solo Jazz Album of the Year for Kinds of Love), Hard Rubber Orchestra (Instrumental Album of the Year for Iguana), the Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer (Blues Album for the Year for Live at the King Eddy), and Teen Daze (Electronic Album of the Year for Interior).
Try not to think about the fact that, truthfully speaking, Nickelback’s roots are in Hanna, Alberta, Jepsen receives most of her Amazon packages in Los Angeles, and Orville Peck was last spotted setting up his tent in Lumberton, U.S.A. It’s the token recognition that counts.
Using the Big Shiny Tunes categories as a springboard for why Canadians hate each other in general, and Toronto in particular, four of the five Singles of the Year nominees hail from Ontario (Avril Lavigne Warner, Preston Pablo, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd [that’s not a typo—it’s how his name is spelled].
Four of the five Album of the Year nominees call Toronto home, four of the five Group of the Year hopefuls are from Ontario. And, well, we could go on, but that starts to get tiresome given that complaining about Toronto is pretty much one of the only things that binds Canadians together (along with, that is, the joy that comes with watching the Maple Leafs lose in the playoffs in Round 1 each spring).
Where, one might ask, if the Juno Awards love for the likes of Victoria Anthony, Haley Blais, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Ché Aimee Dorval, or the fucking unrelenting Thirteen Goats in the metal category? Valid question, and is why exactly do criminally underexposed talents like Colyn Cameron, Kamikaze Nurse, Serena Sun, Pastel Blank, and Kuri continue to fall under the umbrella of “regional attractions”.
You, of course, know the answer. Which doesn’t mean you should be asking the question. Again.
Here's the full list of nominees here in case you want to keep score yourself.
Do it while listening to, or watching, Thirteen Goats "Return to Ruin", which was nominated for, well, nothing.