London Gets JUNO Nod

(LONDON, ON) – London, swimming in a billion dollars of expected economic development this year, just upped its momentum with an announcement from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. CARAS has picked the Forest City to host the 2019 JUNO Awards, Canada’s singular means of honouring the accomplishments of its music makers.

This will include a full week of JUNO festivities, running from March 11 through March 17 next year. The annual awards show will be broadcast on the CBC’s national Canadian network live from the London’s downtown Budweiser Gardens.

“We are thrilled to host the 2019 JUNO Week celebrations here in London,” said Chris Campbell, the director of culture and entertainment tourism. “As one of Canada’s emerging cultural scenes we are excited to show the world how culturally rich and diverse London is.”

In its 48 year history, London has never hosted a JUNO celebration.

In honour of the nod, London’s key music venues will donate one dollar from every ticket sold to MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity associated with CARAS. Venues participating include London Music Hall, Budweiser Gardens, and Centennial Hall.

The show, Campbell said, “is London’s opportunity to bring artists and music fans to our great city to showcase our hospitality and our growing music scene.”

Allan Reid, CARAS chief executive, said he was impressed with the, “incredible growth” of London’s music scene and the platform it gives the city to celebrate Canadian talent.

“Ontario is a key music hub in Canada and North America,” Daiene Vernile, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport said. She sees the music industry as one that is not only thriving but making, “a significant contribution to Ontario’s economy by creating jobs, generating sales, and building the province’s profile at an international level.”

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. He and his bandmates, known as the Royal Canadians, played for just about every New Year night from 1929 to 1976 on radio and then television.

Another JUNO Award nominee is London’s famed record producer, Jack Richardson, best known for producing The Guess Who’s albums. The Jack Richardson Producer of the Year JUNO Award honours his contributions to Canada’s music.

Since the JUNO Awards started taking the show on the road, each host city has seen an average economic impact of $10 million. To date, the JUNO Awards have created a total impact of over $120 million while traveling.

This is not the first international honour for London. It was chosen over Quebec City, Calgary, Ottawa, and Winnipeg to host the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships which brought the world to the Ontario community.

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Robert Tuomi
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