Juno Awards signage hangs in downtown Saskatoon on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’ve postponed this year’s 50th-anniversary celebration until June 6 “out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith

Juno Awards signage hangs in downtown Saskatoon on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’ve postponed this year’s 50th-anniversary celebration until June 6 “out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith

Juno Awards postpone 50th anniversary show date to June 6 amid COVID-19 pandemic

It’s the second time the country’s biggest night in music has been pushed this year

Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’re postponing this year’s 50th anniversary show in Toronto until June 6 as COVID-19 cases rage.

It’s the second time the country’s biggest night in music has been pushed this year as the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences contends with ever-changing Ontario rules meant to slow the spread of the virus.

Already the annual celebration had been moved to May 16 from an originally planned date in mid-March under hopes that warmer weather might allow some performances to be held outdoors with safety efforts in place.

However, the province has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases more recently, with a larger proportion coming from more contagious variants that led to more hospitalizations and pushed the province to issue stay-at-home orders.

The latest Junos delay was made “out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic,” CARAS said Wednesday in a statement.

Juno Awards head Allan Reid declined an interview request.

Complicating matters is the award show’s role in supporting Canada’s music industry, which is caught in the middle of Ontario COVID-19 guidelines that favour film and TV productions over streaming concerts.

Earlier this month, several Ontario concert venue owners called on Premier Doug Ford’s government to offer more transparency around why his “emergency brake” plan outlawed live streaming concerts at local venues while film and TV shoots could continue to move ahead with COVID-19 protocols.

As a nationally televised broadcast put on by Insight Productions, the Juno Awards would likely qualify under Ford’s current COVID-19 production rules. But on the other hand, the show would be packed with live performances from the very industry that’s being prevented from streaming in small concert venues.

The Junos organizers had hoped to stage some of the music moments inside prominent local venues, including Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern, a move that blurred the lines between TV production and live streaming rules even further.

This year’s Junos was originally set to be a splashy event with some of the country’s biggest stars in attendance, but organizers have been forced to rein in expectations over the past year as the reality of COVID-19 made some of their ideas impossible.

The Weeknd leads the 2021 Junos with six nominations while Toronto pop singer/songwriter JP Saxe, Justin Bieber and Jessie Reyez all have five nods.

Details on performers, presenters and Juno Week virtual events will be revealed in the coming weeks, CARAs said.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Sprig of Heather restaurant at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum features a 40-by-40 foot covered pavilion in the heart of the public garden. (Photo contributed)
Salmon Arm’s RJ Haney Heritage Village preps for opening of new attractions

No date set yet, new highlights will be Sprig of Heather restaurant, Children’s Discovery Centre

A topographic (3D) perspective captured from Google Earth, to create a perspective of the approximate proposed cut block outlines on Mount Ida in relation familiar local landmarks. (Alex Inselberg image)
Salmon Arm council’s concerns eased over Mount Ida logging

Fire chief explains proposed cut complements wildfire risk reduction efforts

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Dogs can understand some English

Your morning start for Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Followers of CBC reporter Justin McElroy’s twitter feed responded to his criticism of Salmon Arm’s new municipal flag by offering alternative design options. (Justin McElroy/Twitter)
Salmon Arm flag design flounders on internet

‘Business card’ design prompts creative alternatives

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

The community is rallying around Phil Hotzon who needs a new electric tricycle. (Contributed)
Tricycle for Phil: Support pours in for Kelowna man with traumatic brain injury

Phil Hotzon lost his electric tricycle after falling into Mill Creek, fundraiser aims to replace it

The area around the Christie Mountain wildfire that was restricted to the public is no longer restricted effective at 12 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (BC Wildfire photo)
The area around where the Christie Mountain wildfire took place is officially restricted to the public effective May 12. (BC Wildfire photo)
Christie Mountain wildlife area near Penticton closed to public

The area was damaged in 2020 by the Christie Mountain wildfire

Vancouver court on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Defence lawyers call foul as Crown counsel granted access to COVID-19 vaccines

Defence attorneys are pushing the province to extend inoculation access to workers in courtrooms across B.C.

A 30-year-old Kelowna woman is facing potential charges after allegedly driving impaired before crashing into a Mugford Road residence and fleeing the scene on May 11. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Alleged impaired driver crashes into Kelowna home before fleeing on foot

The crash caused damages to the yard, the surrounding chain fence and the residence’s deck

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

A property crime map for the month of March shows the hot spot for crimes is centered around the area where the Victory Church homeless shelter is located. (City Submitted)
B.C. Premier asked to intervene in Penticton homeless shelter dispute

Mayor sends letter urging premier to reconsider Eby’s use of paramountcy powers

Most Read