As Official JUNOS Bloggers, the team at Do The Daniel was able to pull back the curtain on Canada’s biggest music event of the year. And the best part was that we are allowed to bring YOU along with us! For those who followed our journey from start to finish, you would have seen nothing but sheer excitement during our adventures. Here are some of the highlights from our weekend in Ottawa!
The Juno Express
A VIA Rail train chock-full of media, talent and music industry folks, set off from Toronto and headed straight for Ottawa, just two days before the awards show. We were fortunate enough to sit in the Virgin Mobile car, which was all set up for live music for our journey – with a full PA on the seats behind us. During our ride, all we had to do was just turn around to watch Neon Dreams and Scott Helman serenade us acoustically while we checked out some of the Ontario countryside.
The Steam Whistle Beer and Jackson-Triggs Sparkling Wine was flowing, and strong, as if it was never going to run out (and we hoped it never would!) Using the DINR App, we booked our lunch in the Metro Dining Car for a 5-course tasting menu with Chef Nick Liu of Toronto’s Dai Lo Restaurant. If you told me that I could spend all day eating those Pumpkin Dumplings, I would.
Now, we have already covered how awesome the musicians were on the train. But it didn’t end there. Part of the weekend’s festivities was Juno Fest, which included access to 100 bands over 15 different venues for 2 nights across the city, using just one wristband. As Daniel and I are both avid music-lovers, we had to go out at least one of the two nights to check out some Canadian talent. We were so excited to be able to catch a performance by Youngblood at Zaphod’s in the Byward Market.
Another one of our highlights was getting to meet and hang with the Command Sisters. These two lovely (and quite fashionable) sisters are a powerhouse of musical talent combined with quick wit and equally awesome personalities. Watch out for these two – if you haven’t already heard of them (and if not, where have you been? And you’re welcome.)
Now, you should know that we loved what we got to wear to this special event, so you’ll understand why pairing it with some good hair, makeup and pampering was in order. We were given carte blanche at SAAB Salon and Spa, where we all freshened up our hair and I even got some beautiful clip-in extensions!
On the afternoon before the JUNO Awards, every single one of the Official JUNOS Bloggers were swept off to SAAB Salon to have our hair and makeup professionally (and frankly, quite perfectly) done so that we could glam up that red carpet!
As we were going to be walking the Red Carpet, we wanted to make sure were doing it in style. So we headed to Yorkdale the week before to meet with the team at the Yorkdale Style Concierge. Our goal was to #WearCanadian. Daniel was suited up in head-to-toe Le Chateau and I got whisked off to the FashionCAN Pop-Up where a Lucien Matis Butterfly Baby Doll Dress was hand-picked for me by the amazing team.
The Main Event
Before the Awards ceremony began, we got to pay a visit to one of our favourite places to hang that weekend, Juno TV! Audiences were able to check out some of their favourite artists or talent as they chatted and ate candy with hosts Lana Gay and Sam Sutherland. Being interviewed on live TV, sitting in the same spot where Sarah McLachlan sat, was so much fun (we fan-girled heavily). Wanna see our live segment from the night of the Juno Gala Dinner Awards Presented by SOCAN? CLICK HERE.
With excitement and anticipation, we got to witness the live event in full swing. We were honoured to be there when Buffy Sainte-Marie introduced the wonderful A Tribe Called Red to kick off the show with a moving performance (which was also so cool to see because Daniel and I both went to high school with DJ NDN). There were performances by Shawn Mendes, The Arkells, The Strumbellas, Bryan Adams, Ruth B, July Talk, Billy Talent, Alessia Cara, Sarah McLachlan and Dallas Smith.
I think Daniel and I can both agree that our favourite moment was Feist paying tribute to the late Leonard Cohen with the song “Hey Man, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”. There was not a dry eye in that room and the fact that she chose that song could not have been more perfect.
Watching Sarah McLachlan get inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame was also quite memorable as she accepted her award with a moving and empowering speech, as expected from that remarkable woman.
Even though the JUNO Awards are already done and dusted for this year, we are honoured to have been able to be a part of it. This one eventful evening occurs once a year to highlight Canadian music, artists, creators and musicians, but we are left basking in the experience. And still, the music plays on. Hope to see you next year in Vancouver for the 2018 JUNO Awards!
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Catherine Sugrue, CNP
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