Country Music is Under Represented at the JUNO Awards

JUNO Nominees for Country Album of the Year

The JUNO Awards are this weekend, making this the biggest annual event in Canadian Music. These awards do a great job at promoting great Canadian talent, and helping to launch the careers of so many artists. But where’s the country music representation at the JUNOs?

Winning a JUNO can give an artist that extra push to propel them to Canadian stardom. Just think, in 2016 Allesia Cara won the JUNO for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, then went on to win the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2017. So the JUNOS are really great and do a lot of good for the music industry in Canada.

That being said, every year the same question comes to mind: why don’t Canadian country artists get more opportunities at the awards?

Country music is one of the most profitable and successful music genres in Canada. On average there’s a reported 3 million people who watch the CCMA awards annually, and in 2016, under 2 million people watched the JUNOS. There’s obviously a thirst in Canada to support Canadian country artists, and it’s really a shame that the largest advocate for Canadian music doesn’t recognize all the great artists involved in this genre.

There is an award at the JUNOS for Country Album of the Year, but that’s the only category that’s dedicated specifically to country music. There are some country artists nominated in a couple different categories, but for the most part it’s the same artists nominated year after year.

Canadian country songwriters are also among the best in North America (side note – did you know that Tebey has written music for Harry Styles?! Yah.). Despite the huge success that our songwriters realize, they are rarely acknowledged at the JUNOS in the Songwriter of the Year category.

Even when it comes to performances at the JUNOS, country artists are rarely given the opportunity to showcase their talent at the awards show. When you look at the numbers of people who watch the CCMA awards vs the JUNOS, There’s a strong argument to be made to include country artists in the list of performers. Including some in the lineup will increase their overall viewership!

This is not all to say that the JUNO awards are bad, It’s the opposite! The JUNOs are great, it’s just really unfortunate not to see the awards reflect the music preferences of the Canadian population.

The 2018 JUNO Awards are on Sunday March 25th at 8pm EST in Vancouver and will be aired live on CBC and hosted by Canada’s favourite crooner, Michael Bublé.

The Nominees for Country Album of the Year are:

Dean Brody – Beautiful Freakshow
High Valley – Dear Life
James Barker Band – Game On
Jess Moskaluke – Past The Past
Tim Hicks – Shake These Walls

The Nominees for Album of the Year are:

Arcade Fire – Everything Now
Johnny Reid – Revival
Michael Bublé – Nobody But Me
Ruth B – Safe Haven
Shania Twain – Now

The Nominees for Artist of the Year are:

Daniel Caesar
Gord Downie
Ruth B
Shania Twain

The Nominees for Breakthrough Group of the Year are:

James Barker Band
The Beaches
The Dead South
The Franklin Electric
The Jerry Cans

Click here to see a full list of nominees for the 2018 JUNO Awards.

In country music, the Front Porch has long been a place of reflection. A place where you can look at the life you have inside that front door. A place where time almost seems to stand still, where you can get away. It’s also a place where you can go to observe the world as it passes by you. To think about your place out there beyond the driveway.

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