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Juno Week & Awards Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Worries

CARAS has just announced the cancellation of the 2020 Juno Awards, which were set to take place this weekend in Saskatoon, SK, as well as the remaining Juno Week events.

“Through our collaborative discussions and with input and guidance and the full support of our trusted partners, including the Province of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon, Tourism Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Health Authority and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, it is with an incredibly heavy heart that we collectively confirm the cancellation of the 49th Annual JUNO Awards and JUNO Week activities in Saskatoon due to concerns surrounding COVID-19,” CARAS says in its statement. “We are devastated to cancel this national celebration of music, but at this time of global uncertainty, the health, safety and well-being of all Canadians must stand at the forefront of any decisions that impact our communities. We know this is the right decision based on the information we currently have and are continuing to receive. The situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”

CARAS also added that it’s exploring options “to coordinate an alternative way to honour this year’s JUNO Award winners and Special Award Recipients and support the creators and participants that so greatly benefit from the work done by CARAS and the JUNOS.”

The Junos are just the latest major music event to be cancelled as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and health experts warn against any events that would draw large, condensed crowds of people. Earlier this week the SXSW festival in Austin, as well as the Coachella Music Festival in California were cancelled, among others.

For more information as it becomes available, go to www.junoawards.ca.

UPDATE: Music Canada has affirmed its support for the decision to cancel the Juno Awards.

"The JUNOS are a nationwide celebration of Canadian music. But they are far more than what Canadians see on a Sunday evening telecast once a year. JUNO Week provides opportunities for artists and the rest of the music community from every corner of the country to gather and connect, to perform, and to be honoured for their achievements," began the statement from Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson.  "We at Music Canada fully support the action taken by our partners at the JUNOS. We understand how difficult this decision must have been but how necessary and prudent it was due to the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to everyone who has been affected by the cancellation. In particular, our thoughts are with the artist community. They exist in an often precarious state and are at the heart of our industry. And we must not forget that the music community at large will feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for a considerable period of time. We need to work together and take care of each other.

"We at Music Canada affirm our commitment to the spirit of the JUNOS and we pledge to work hand in hand with our partners at CARAS to find a way forward. We can and will honour the 2020 JUNO Award nominees and Special Award Recipients."

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.
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