Manitoba artists are strong contenders for hardware at the 2017 JUNO Awards. Homegrown acts are up for several awards this year, including nods in the Indigenous music, roots, gospel, and classical categories. The nominees for the 46th annual awards were announced by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) on February 7. Canada’s music awards ahead to Ottawa for JUNO Week, March 27 – April 2, 2017.
Singer/songwriter William Prince is a double nominee this year, with nods in the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year and Indigenous Music Album of the Year categories for his solo debut recording, Earthly Days. Prince has already picked up hardware from the Western Canadian Music Awards and nods from the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2016.
DJ collective A Tribe Called Red, which features Winnipeg-based producer Tim “2oolman” Hill alongside DJ NDN and Bear Witness, is up for Electronic Album of the Year and Jack Richardson Producer of the Year for Halluci Nation. The trio’s video for “R.E.D. FT. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear”, directed by Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman, is up for Video of the Year.
Two-time JUNO winner Steve Bell has picked up a nod in the Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year category for his latest album, Where the Good Way Lies. This is Bell’s fifth career nomination; he previously won in 2001 and 1998. Singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson also landed a Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year nomination for her new recording, Potter & Clay. Manitoba-born, B.C.-based Tim Neufeld and his band The Glory Boys are up in the same category for their album, Hootenanny!
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation -- which features the music of Tanya Tagaq, Steve Wood (Mistikwaskihk Napesis) and the Northern Cree Singers, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra -- has been nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment as well as Classical Composition of the Year for Toronto-based composer, Christos Hatzis.
Also with a connection to this year’s nominations, Winnipeg electronic label Balanced Records released Debut from Ottawa’s Silla + Rise, which is up for Indigenous Music Album of the Year, and Banjo virtuoso and Duhks’ founder Leonard Podolak produced PEI’s Ten Strings and a Goat Skin’s album Auprès du poêle, which is up for Traditional Roots Album of the Year.
Several of this year’s Manitoba-based nominees have participated in Manitoba Music’s professional and market development programs during their careers, accessing assistance to showcase in new markets and in making critical business contacts. Manitoba Music’s programs are supported by the Province of Manitoba, FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters, and Manitoba Film & Music.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on April 1 and the 2017 JUNO Awards broadcast on CTV on April 2.
For a complete list of 2017 JUNO Awards nominees, go to junoawards.ca.