It’s 2017, Canada is 150, the JUNO Awards are in Ottawa for only the 3rd time ever, and it’s an amazing year to be a woman in music. Tonight 8 awards were handed out at Canadian Tire Centre out which 4 were given to women and the rest to either the Tragically Hip / Gord Downie, Leonard Cohen or Shawn Mendes.

Russell Peters hosts the 2017 JUNO Awards in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

I’ve been watching the JUNO Awards for as long as I can remember and I have to say the combination of Russell Peters and Bryan Adams is the magical hosting combination that kept the audience in stitches all night long.

A Tribe Called Red kicks off the 2017 JUNO Awards in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Tribe Called Red kicked off the show following a powerful introduction by the incredible Buffy Ste. Marie.

Buffy Ste. Marie opens the 2017 JUNO Awards ceremony in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

The first JUNO, for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, was awarded to the amazing Ruth B.

Dallas Smith on The JUNO Awards Main Stage photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Dallas Smith took to the stage to perform his hit “Side Effects” which was followed by Shawn Mendes, you may recall the photo we took outside his dressing room earlier in the week with the mountain of fan mail, performing “Mercy”.

Jess Moskaluke accepts her JUNO for Country Album of the Year photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Following Mendes’ performance the second JUNO, for Country Album of The Year, was awarded to our friend, the reigning CCMA Female artist of the Year, the amazing and talented Jess Moskaluke. It’s her third JUNO nomination, in 2015 she was nominated for Breakthrough Artist and Country Album of the Year for Light Up The Night.

July Talk performs at the 2017 JUNO Awards in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Now I’ve had the pleasure of catching July Talk perform a couple of times and you can always count on an incredible performance. Their performance at the 2017 JUNO Awards was no exception as the group put on one of their hottest performances to date, most definitely worthy of their JUNO for Alternative Group of the Year!

The cast of Letterkenny at The JUNO Awards in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Special appearances by the LetterKenny cast lead into a performance by JUNO Winners The Strumbellas who performed their JUNO Award winning song “Spirits”.

The Strumbellas on The JUNO Awards Main Stage photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Following a short break the incredible Sarah McLachlan was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame with introductions and tributes from Bill Clinton and her peers. I’ve been a huge fan of Sarah for as long as I can remember and this induction is very well deserved for an artist of Sarah’s stature.

Sarah McLachlan receives her induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame from Bryan Adams photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Ruth B took to the stage to perform her hit “Lost Boy”, which also happens to be my favorite Peter Pan themed song right now (in comparison to Kelsea Ballerini “Peter Pan”) in case you’re wondering.

Ruth B performs on The JUNO Awards Main Stage photo by Dave DiUbaldo

While Ruth was performing July Talk and Chantal Kreviazuk paid a visit to the media room. July Talk spoke to us about their performance and about Leah’s shoes, which she bought in Europe for about 7 Euro.

The Arkells took to the stage with the performance of “Drake’s Dad” that we were able to watch the rehearsal of this past Friday morning. It was even more incredible tonight. It’s worth mentioning that all of tonight’s performances will be available on Google Play Music tomorrow.

The incredible @jessmoskaluke is visiting us in the #mediaroom #Junos @thejunoawards

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Jess Moskaluke came to visit us in the Media Room and was asked if The Junos should open up their country categories to include more room for a variety of artists and she simply said “No. The great thing about country music is how diverse it is. It’s great that we have Dallas on the rock side, myself on the pop side and Gord on the more traditional side. So it should just be a single category that represents us all.” Oh and Aaron, sorry she didn’t mention you my friend.

PM Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau on stage at The JUNO Awards photo by Dave DiUbaldo

The Trudeau’s took to the stage following a performance by Bryan Adams tribute to Leonard Cohen. Interesting to note that 90 minutes into the show Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau was the first person to speak french during the broadcast.

Feist performs a tribute to the late great Leonard Cohen photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Following the Trudeau’s Feist performed an emotional tribute to the late great Leonard Cohen with his song “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” from his 1967 debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Gord Downie takes part in WE Day celebrations at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa photo by David DiUbaldo

The next JUNO to be awarded was for Songwriter of the Year and it went to, again no big surprise here, Gord Downie, for The Stranger, The Only Place to Be, Son from his project SECRET PATH.

“This is MY arena NOT yours”

The Tragically Hip accept their award for Group of the Year photo by Dave DiUbaldo

The JUNO for Group of the Year was awarded to, also no surprise, The Tragically Hip. Clearly one of the highlights of the nights, so far, was when Paul Langlois was being pushed off the stage…first by playing music over his speech to which he told the audience “This is MY arena NOT yours”! Eventually they cut his mic and went to commercial. It was a classic moment worthy of an OSCAR.

A mountain of fan mail waits outside of Shawn Mendes’ dressing room at Canadian Tire Centre photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Following the Hip’s moment the award for JUNO Fan Choice (presented by TD) was announced.  It should not surprise any one of us here, that were in attendance at the behind the scenes tour earlier this week, that the winner was Shawn Mendes. If the mountain of fan mail was any indication it would appear that Shawn had this one well in hand.

Shawn Mendes accepts his JUNO for Fan Choice photo by Dave DiUbaldo

The final award of the night, Album of The Year, was awarded to Leonard Cohen for his album You Want It Darker.

The grand finale on The JUNO Awards Main Stage photo by Dave DiUbaldo

The night wrapped up with an incredible performance by Hall of Fame inductee Sarah McLachlan and then a group performance of “Summer of 69′” featuring McLachlan, Bryan Adams, The Strumbellas, Alessia Cara, Billy Talent and more…

The grand finale on The JUNO Awards Main Stage photo by Dave DiUbaldo

What a night. It’s safe to say that the 2017 Juno Awards will go down in history as one of the best ever. Best performances, best hosts, best nominees, best media covering it…ok that might’ve been a stretch.  It’s been a blast to be part of this past week and use our platform to promote music from the greatest country in the world…Canada. Special thanks to CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), Rock-It Promo and everyone involved in the past week who made this a week that we won’t soon forget.

To all the winners, we congratulate you! Thank you for making 2016 an incredible year in Canadian music!

We’ll see you all in Vancouver in 2018 where we will celebrate the best Canadian music from the year we’re in right now!

For more information on all the winners and nominees visit www.junoawards.ca