Manitoba Makes Official Bid for 2005 Junos

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After 33 years of sending Manitoba’s finest artists to Toronto or Hamilton to attend the Juno Awards, in 2005, Canada’s premiere music industry extravaganza could be coming to Manitoba.

A bid committee that includes Premier Gary Doer, Mayor Glen Murray, and delegates from Manitoba Film and Sound, Destination Winnipeg, and MARIA, are launching a competitive bid to play host to the Juno Awards in 2005. Between Winnipeg’s golden reputation for producing top-notch musical acts and a successful history of holding national and international events, bid committee members are confident that the city will hold its own in a competitive field. Rising Manitoban country stars Doc Walker, up for a Juno award this year, will add their even more harmonious voices to the proposal.

Committee members, who hopped off to Ottawa for this year’s Juno Awards on April 3rd, are hoping to impress the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ panel by presenting a pitch that will plan to use the by-then newly built True North Centre to hold the Juno’s main awards gala. The official pitch will be made on April 5th, during a bid reception held at Ottawa’s prestigious Empire Grill.

Should Winnipeg get the nod for 2005, it won’t just be a credit to the strength of the local music scene… it will also mean a windfall for the province. When the Juno Awards, traditionally held in Hamilton or Ontario, took its first trip to St. John’s last year, Newfoundland reported an estimated profit of $30 million dollars.

But for organizers, the chance to host the Junos isn’t all about the money. In a press release, the Premier was quite vocal about giving credit back to the artists who have made Manitoba’s booming music industry into one of the most exciting in the country.

“Manitoba is home to many inspired and gifted musicians," said Doer. "Hosting the Juno Awards ceremony in Winnipeg would allow us to highlight their creative talents for the rest of the country."

The Manitoba nominees for the 2003 Junos are:
Doc Walker - Country Recording of the Year
Remy Shand - Artist of the Year; Songwriter of the Year; R&B/Soul Recording of the Year; the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Award
Fred Penner - Children's Album of the Year
James Ehnes - Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble; Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment
The Duhks - Roots and Traditional Album of the Year: Group
Holly McNarland - Best Album Design

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