Exciting Developments for 2005 JUNO Awards

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Those who haven’t yet managed to snag tickets to the sold out 2005 JUNO Awards now have a reason to try even harder to find them. Melanie Berry, president of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), was on stage at Winnipeg’s historic Burton Cummings Theatre on March 2 to announce several new developments in the 34th annual ceremony, to be broadcast April 3 on CTV.

The telecast will feature a special tribute to Winnipeg musicians, gathering together some of the city’s greatest legends and newest stars to honour Winnipeg’s musical legacy. Rock and roll heroes and Guess Who bandmates Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings will share the stage once again, along with JUNO Award-winning pop chanteuse Chantal Kreviazuk. Joining them will be some of this year’s local JUNO nominees, including Grammy-nominated Christian rapper Fresh I.E., roots act Nathan, folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, and rockers The Waking Eyes. In addition to the tribute, Cummings will also host the Songwriters’ Circle on April 3, along with Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Gordie Sampson.

“The plan for a special performance saluting the vast musical history of Winnipeg, Manitoba has been a priority for this year’s show from the very beginning and we’re thrilled to confirm today the participation of many of Canada’s most influential artists,” said Berry in a press release.

Berry, along with Kevin Walters and Ginette Lavack of the Winnipeg Host Committee, also announced several other new JUNO developments, including a partial line-up for JunoFest, the two day festival that runs April 1 and 2 in Winnipeg. Produced by former Winnipeg Folk Festival artistic director Rick Fenton, the diverse line-up includes national artists Choclair, Feist, Thornley, Kyle Riabko, Robin Black, and El Torpedo. Of the 100 bands playing this year’s JunoFest, half of them will be local, including this year’s local JUNO nominees as well as Foster Martin Band, C-Weed, The Duhks, Eagle & Hawk, Easily Amused, Alana Levandoski and many more. Taking place in 15 of Winnipeg’s premier music venues, wristband’s for JunoFest will be available March 5 through Ticketmaster.

As the 2005 JUNO Awards draw closer, more Canadian music stars are confirming attendance for the weekend’s festivities. Billy Talent, Paul Brandt, Fefe Dobson, Kalan Porter and The Waking Eyes will all be in attendance at the 2005 Juno Fan Fare on April 2. Juno Fan Fare features special autograph sessions with Canada’s top musical talent, to be hosted this year by Hot 103’s Ace Burpee and CKY News entertainment report Jon Hendricks. CARAS will announce additional artists each Tuesday during the month of March.

For those who want to see their favourite Canadian artists strap on a pair of skates and go toe-to-toe with hockey legends, the 2005 Juno Cup celebrity fundraiser is a hot ticket. With artists Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Jon Gallant (Billy Talent), Dallas Smith (Default) and Sarah Harmer and NHL pros such as Doug Gilmor and Winnipeg Jets veterans Dave Babych, Jordy Douglas, Dale Hawerchuck, Kris King, and Perry Miller, it’s no surprise that the tickets for this event are nearly sold out. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for a donation towards MusiCan – CARAS’ music educations program.

Manitobans will also have a chance to introduce the rest of Canada to one of this province’s greatest traditions: the social. The Winnipeg Host Committee for the 2005 JUNO Awards announced The Flatter the Land, The Harder the Rock! It’s Great to be From Here! Manitoba Social, scheduled for March 31 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, to kick-off JUNO weekend festivities. Highlighting Manitoba’s stellar musical history, the event will feature some of Manitoba’s best musical stars, past and present. Randy Bachman, Doc Walker, The Waking Eyes, C-Weed, and Rudimental have all been confirmed with more special guests to be added. Of course, typical social trappings – KUB bread, Bothwell cheese cubes, garlic kielbasa, and arms-length ticket raffles - will also make appearances, with proceeds of the raffle being donated to Winnipeg Harvest, MARIA, and MusiCan. Tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster on March 7.

Aboriginal music and art will have significant presence at this year’s JUNO Award festivities. In previous years, nominees in the Aboriginal Recording of the Year category have celebrated with a small gathering and honouring ceremony. Spurred by Manitoba’s Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism Eric Robinson, the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Host Committee was created. The committee is working with the Winnipeg Host Committee to ensure that Aboriginal programming becomes an integral part of the JUNO Awards in Winnipeg. Manitoba Aboriginal Music Host Committee has already announced a number of special events being planned for JUNO week, including career day workshops, concerts throughout the city, and an honouring ceremony featuring all five nominees for Aboriginal Recording of the Year.

For more information on the 2005 JUNO Awards and the weekend’s festivities, please visit www.winnipegjunos2005.com and www.junoawards.ca

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