Juno Awards signage hangs in downtown Saskatoon on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’ve postponed this year’s 50th-anniversary celebration until June 6 “out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith

Juno Awards signage hangs in downtown Saskatoon on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’ve postponed this year’s 50th-anniversary celebration until June 6 “out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith

Juno Awards postpone 50th anniversary show date to June 6 amid COVID-19 pandemic

It’s the second time the country’s biggest night in music has been pushed this year

Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’re postponing this year’s 50th anniversary show in Toronto until June 6 as COVID-19 cases rage.

It’s the second time the country’s biggest night in music has been pushed this year as the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences contends with ever-changing Ontario rules meant to slow the spread of the virus.

Already the annual celebration had been moved to May 16 from an originally planned date in mid-March under hopes that warmer weather might allow some performances to be held outdoors with safety efforts in place.

However, the province has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases more recently, with a larger proportion coming from more contagious variants that led to more hospitalizations and pushed the province to issue stay-at-home orders.

The latest Junos delay was made “out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic,” CARAS said Wednesday in a statement.

Juno Awards head Allan Reid declined an interview request.

Complicating matters is the award show’s role in supporting Canada’s music industry, which is caught in the middle of Ontario COVID-19 guidelines that favour film and TV productions over streaming concerts.

Earlier this month, several Ontario concert venue owners called on Premier Doug Ford’s government to offer more transparency around why his “emergency brake” plan outlawed live streaming concerts at local venues while film and TV shoots could continue to move ahead with COVID-19 protocols.

As a nationally televised broadcast put on by Insight Productions, the Juno Awards would likely qualify under Ford’s current COVID-19 production rules. But on the other hand, the show would be packed with live performances from the very industry that’s being prevented from streaming in small concert venues.

The Junos organizers had hoped to stage some of the music moments inside prominent local venues, including Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern, a move that blurred the lines between TV production and live streaming rules even further.

This year’s Junos was originally set to be a splashy event with some of the country’s biggest stars in attendance, but organizers have been forced to rein in expectations over the past year as the reality of COVID-19 made some of their ideas impossible.

The Weeknd leads the 2021 Junos with six nominations while Toronto pop singer/songwriter JP Saxe, Justin Bieber and Jessie Reyez all have five nods.

Details on performers, presenters and Juno Week virtual events will be revealed in the coming weeks, CARAs said.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Just Posted

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of two shot by police in critical condition says Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

A fire destroyed a commercial building on Idlemore Road early Tuesday. The fire is under investigation. (Kenn Mount photo)
Early morning fire destroys new Sooke distillery

Firefighters still investigating cause of Island Shiners Distillery blaze early Tuesday

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Experts now predict 33.6% rise in B.C. home sales for 2021

BCREA economists also predict home prices to increase by 14.3%

A boat caught on fire this morning (May 11) in Port Hardy. (Adam Harding/Port Hardy Fire Rescue Facebook photo)
Fishing boat catches fire in Port Hardy, owner’s quick thinking puts out flames

The incident is a good reminder to always have a working fire extinguisher onboard your boat

Most Read