Winnipeg to Host the 2005 JUNO Awards

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The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced Winnipeg as host city for the 2005 JUNO Awards, to be held April 1-3, 2005. This marks the first time Winnipeg will host Canada's largest music industry awards show.

“We at CARAS are confident that Winnipeg’s enthusiasm for, and dedication to, Canadian music will ensure a stellar event in 2005. As a city that’s historically been a cultural hotspot for arts, entertainment and especially musical vitality, there’s no question Winnipeg will make an excellent host city,” said Melanie Berry, CARAS President.

“Aside from Winnipeg’s rich musical tradition, holding the JUNO Awards here represents yet another step in our overall goal to ensure that Canada’s national music awards program remains truly national in both scope and setting,” said Ross Reynolds, CARAS Chair.

“Manitoba is home to many gifted musicians,” said Premier Gary Doer. “Hosting the 2005 Juno Awards ceremony allows us to highlight their creative talents and showcase Winnipeg to the rest of the country. This is a tremendous opportunity to stage the kind of world-class event that Winnipeg has become known for. I’d like to congratulate everyone on the bid committee, including the True North Centre, for their successful efforts.”

The City of Winnipeg presented a strong bid to CARAS and was awarded the event based on a combination of solid commitments from municipal, provincial and federal governments, excellent host facilities and a long established reputation as a city that embraces Canadian music and culture.

“Winnipeg welcomes the world to this celebration of Canadian musical genius,” said Mayor Glen Murray. “This event will be held in the centre of the continent in our brand-new showcase for sports and entertainment, the True North Centre. We promise you the best three-day arts and culture extravaganza this country has ever seen. Nobody parties like Winnipeggers!”

Winnipeg is the home of many Canadian cultural treasures, including the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony, Rainbow Stage and the Winnipeg Folk Festival – not to mention Burton Cummings and The Guess Who, Canadian treasure Fred Penner, Grammy nominee Remy Shand and very hot up-and-coming acts such as the Weakerthans and Doc Walker.

"On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to congratulate Winnipeg on this important and exciting announcement. Winnipeg's music history is a rich one and its future is as bright, with the emergence of new artists that are achieving international success. I am very pleased that the Government of Canada is an active partner in this initiative and we look forward to helping make the 2005 Juno Awards in Winnipeg a big success,” said Allan Rock, Minister of Industry.

“Holding the 2005 Juno Awards ceremony in the beautiful city of Winnipeg will allow all Canadians to discover the beauty and cultural treasures of Manitoba’s capital,” said Minister Copps. “This ceremony celebrates the talent of our best artists and the excellent collaboration of the partners in this cultural event.”

Several venues around the Winnipeg area will be hosting special entertainment events that customarily accompany the annual JUNO weekend. Location and programming details will be announced at a later date.

“It’s a dream come true for our new downtown sports and entertainment centre to be the main stage for the 2005 JUNO Awards just months after our grand opening,” said Jim Ludlow, President and CEO of True North Sports & Entertainment Limited. “Today’s announcement is a clear and affirmative answer to the question ‘if you build it, will they come?”

Sponsors to-date for the 2005 JUNO Awards include the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, FACTOR and the Government of Canada, through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s “Canada Music Fund.”

“FACTOR, through the funding provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Music Funds’ Collective Initiatives program, is proud to be a sponsor of the Juno Awards and are pleased to see how the event is being moved around the country. We have some of the finest talent in the world and it is wonderful to see how CARAS provides such a key component to building a national star system. We look forward to joining everyone in Winnipeg in 2005 for this much important celebration.” Stated FACTOR President Heather Ostertag.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences/L'academie canadienne des arts et des sciences de l'enregistrement (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music and recording industries and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. The main focus of CARAS is the exploration and development of opportunities to showcase and promote Canadian artists and music through television vehicles such as the JUNO Awards.

The 2004 Juno Awards will air live on CTV Sunday, April 4, 2004.

For more information on the 33rd annual Juno Awards, visit the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) web site at www.juno-awards.ca.

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