Taking place at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena tonight, the 47th annual JUNO Awards took place, celebrating the best in Canadian achievements on a national and international stage. The themes of truth and reconciliation were front and center tonight in light of recent social movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo.
The late Gord Downie was honoured winning Artist of the Year. Brothers Patrick and Mike accepted the Award on his behalf, stating “All this love and support is really helping the healing. This is Gord‘s Award. He’s Artist of the Year but he was our man of a lifetime.”. He was paid tribute to also by friends Dallas Green (City and Colour) and Sarah Harmer via song during the CBC Broadcast. Downie himself was awarded post-humously alongside Kevin Drew as Songwriter of the Year for their work on A Natural, Introduce Yerself and The North on his Album Introduce Yerself, released October 2017. He also won for Adult Alternative Album of the Year.
Receiving major recognition tonight also was Montreal’s Arcade Fire winning Album of the Year for Everything Now. The Band also were recognized for their body of contributions, receiving the International Achievement Award.
Michael Bublé, who prior to tonight had won 12 JUNOs, filled hosting duties after being unable to do so last year due to his son Noah falling ill.
He won for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for Nobody But Me and confirmed earlier in the evening that he and his wife Luisana Lopiloto are expecting a second child. Fellow Vancouver native Diana Krall who won Vocal Jazz Album and Producer of the Year for her Album Turn Up the Quiet would join him on-stage in a duet of Nat King Cole‘s Love.
Another major highlight was Canadian Outfit Barenaked Ladies coming together on-stage for a one-night-only reunion, marking the Band’s 30th anniversary. The Band this year are inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Steven Page had embarked on a solo career in 2009 and joined his Bandmates on-stage and each of them individually thanked those who were a part of their success in a comical song which drew thunderous applause from the crowd.
Pickering’s Shawn Mendes won Single of the Year for There’s Nothing Holdin’ me Back and also the Fan Choice Award, although he wasn’t in attendance as he preps his upcoming Album.
Kendrick Lamar won International Album of the Year for DAMN.
Toronto’s LIGHTS was awarded Pop Album of the Year for her Disc, Skin & Earth.
Brampton’s Jessie Reyez scored for Breakthrough Artist. Her hit Figures reached #58 on the Canadian Billboard Hot 100, which she performed live on the Broadcast joined by fellow Torontonian Daniel Caesar, who won R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for his Track, Freudian.
As the din of the screams, tears and cheers that greeted Shawn Mendes, the last person to walk down the red carpet, dissipated into the air, I entered the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts to watch returning Master of Ceremony, the very charming and professional Jason Priestley, host and introduce the most deserving inductees to this year’s CANADA’S WALK OF FAME.
Before each of the inductees had their moments to shine on the beautifully-adorned stage (which had screened clips and interviews of previous honorees that included Michael J. Fox and Anne Murray before the show started) there was a buzz of anticipation in the air. It is not very often that we get the chance to see some of the greatest talents this country has to offer.
Olympic gold medalist, Silken Laumann, spoke of courage and overcoming adversity. A somewhat unusually subdued Don Cherry and the very eloquent Ron MacLean showed us why they were so deserving of this accolade. After the effusive introduction from songstress extraordinaire Molly Johnson, author of “The Book of Negroes” (and brother to singer Dan Hill), a humble Laurence Hill, mesmerized the audience with his personal story of family and strength. Multi-talented and multiple Gemini Award winning actress, Wendy Crewson, gave the most passionate and fiery speech about the art of the craft that had the audience cheering. I have become even a bigger fan of Shawn Mendes, after he shyly and nervously accepted the Allan Slaight Award, then came back later in the show to sing two songs. This talented young man from Pickering has class AND talent!
There was then a lovely tribute to the late, Ottawa-born Lorne Greene who will be forever known as Ben Cartwright in the television classic, “Bonanza”. Vancouver Canucks‘ Trevor Linden had fun talking about the lack of hockey skills the last inductee. Michael Bublé, has, but what Bublé lacks on the ice, he more than makes up for in talent! Not only does he command the stage when he sings, in accepting his award, Michael Bublé was the consummate entertainer. His speech was funny, slightly ribald, modest and genuinely moving when he talked about his wife and son. Newly-minted Canadian, Johnny Reid, ended the show with an inspirational song from his new album.
You may have noticed that I have been vague about many of the exciting things that occurred on stage at the CANADA’S WALK OF FAME celebrations. My intent is to tease only and ensure you watch this show, as I will again, when it is televised on the Global Network on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8 PM EST. Watching it will give you another reason to be a proud Canadian! More here.
Teen Pop Sensation Shawn Mendes continues his massive ascent. The Pickering native after receiving the Allan Slaight Award earlier this month at the Canadian Walk of Fame Awards and touring in support of Taylor Swift‘s 1989 Tour now is set to embark on a series of Holiday shows this month including stops in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Arizona, Washington and more.
Just having re-released his Billboard Chart-topping debut disc Handwritten (Revisited), 17-year-old Mendes has a new single ready to impact airwaves, I Know What You Did Last Summer, featuring Camilla Cabello of Fifth Harmony.
Check it it below:
It was amazing to see fame hasn’t changed Mendes who was kind to stop a few minutes to chat with Fans, accommodating Selfies, Facetimes with Fans’ friends, autographs and hugs. We ran into Mendes with Billy at Walmart earlier this year (read here) and had another pleasant experience with the star!
Canada’s Walk of Fame 2015 took place at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts yesterday and our George Kozera was there to partake in the festivities!
The ceremony now in its 17th year, rolls out the red carpet and shines a bright light on Canadian talent and excellence over an array of fields: entertainment, science, politics and sports. Among those honoured at the ceremony yesterday were:
Michael Bublé Don Cherry & Ron MacLean Lawrence Hill Silken Laumann Wendy Crewson Lorne Greene
While these names were celebrated, other Canadian notables also were present including this year’s Allan Slaight Award recipient and Pickering teen pop sensation Shawn Mendes, lauded for his musical accomplishments including a Billboard Hot 200-topping 2015 debut, Handwritten.
TV star Jason Priestley returned home to Canada to host the affair, while Actress/Singer Jill Hennessy who was in town supporting her new disc I Do, walked the carpet also. The Vancouver Canucks’ Trevor Linden also was on-hand to present to Michael Bublé and Canadian crooners Johnny Reid and Molly Johnson also were on-hand.
This year’s inductees join a prestigious trail of stars who have been immortalized with their names engraved on stars situated on the sidewalk around King Street West x Simcoe Street in our Entertainment District.
Canada’s Walk of Fame 2015 airs Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8pm EST/PST on Global Television. George‘s recap to come.
Australian Singer-Songwriter Vance Joy made a huge splash with his breakout hit Riptide earlier this year, gaining worldwide recognition. Joy is in Toronto today promoting his debut disc Dream Your Life Away (Deluxe Edition), prior to opening for Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour tonight at Rogers Centre. Tourmate, Toronto’s Shawn Mendes was here yesterday partaking in We Day celebrations, even walking the carpet and greeting fans!
The striking 27-year-old artist with flawless hair, appeared on both City‘s Breakfast Television with a two-song performance, before trekking over to Global‘s The Morning Show (National Edition) where also he performed live. We caught-up with him leaving an appearance and he was more than nice to come over for a Snap before heading out to do more press.
Did you know he formerly was an Aussie Rules Football Player?
See his performance of new single Fire and the Flood on The Morning Show:
In case you haven’t discovered Joy‘s outstanding music, you can download his debut disc Dream Your Life Awayhere.
Nominees for the 2015 JUNO Awards were announced earlier today at Danforth Music Hall. After already what has been a smashing year internationally for Toronto Band MAGIC!, it all comes back full circle as the Quartet lead the way at the 2015 JUNO Awards with five nominations including Fan Choice, Single of the Year, Breakthrough Group of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.
Not far behind with four nominations apiece were Canadian Dance-Pop Queen Kiesza getting nods for Single of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Dance Recording of the Year and Video of the Year thanks to the success of her hit Single, Hideaway. Canadian Icon Leonard Cohen also received four nominations: JUNO Fan Choice, Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year.
Up for International Album of the Year is a star-studded list including One Direction, Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Lorde and Taylor Swift.
The Breakthrough Artist of the Year Category also boasts an eclectic mix of new Talent including massively-popular Shawn Mendes, Glenn Morrison, Jess Moskaluke, Kiesza and Mac DeMarco.
Confirmed to perform thus far at the Ceremony include Hedley, Shawn Mendes, Kiesza and The Arkells. Rush will be receiving the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award.
The 2015 JUNO Awards take place Sunday, March 15, 2015 at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario.
Some days we don’t believe our luck! Billy and I were out at Walmart earlier this morning doing a quick grocery run when we looked-over and our jaws both dropped when we swore we saw Pop Megastar SHAWN MENDES and his Mom Karen down the aisle from us. We had to do a double-take! Immediately, we dropped our purchases and raced right to the front door just in time to catch them leaving for a Selfie. Although Mendes, in his sunglasses and a Hoodie said he was in a rush, his Mother was kind enough to have him turn back and stop for a quick Snap! We love her. “What kind of Dog is he?”, he asked about Billy, to which I pointed-out, he is a Shih-Tzu. Mendes told me his Friend has the exact same type. Karen was smitten by Billy, stopping to pet him.
If all of this is coming out as garbled speak and you’re still like, “Shawn Who?”, I will tell you that our Homeboy SHAWN MENDES is the next big thing in Pop Music. The 16-year-old Singer/Songwriter got his big break with six-second VINE Videos of him performing Cover Versions. Soon after, millions around the World would be following, leading to a deal with Island Records (Universal Music). The likes of John Mayer, Meghan Trainor, Ed Sheeran all are raving about him, if that’s any indication of his star power.
The Shawn Mendes EP would soon be rush-released in July, reaching Top Five in both Canada and the U.S. and 2015 looks to be the year his popularity explodes after some v. careful development and handling. After selling-out Concert Halls before Christmas with a few intimate Shows including one in Toronto at Danforth Music Hall, Mendes now is ready to hit-up additional American and European cities this Winter. Tickets released this weekend sold-out in just minutes, with some lucky Fans getting Shawn Access Passes in the mail, confirming he’ll be meeting them rather soon. This Fall he opens for Taylor Swift on her sold-out 1989World Tour, making it almost impossible for him not to succeed.
It appears Mendes is about to confirm the release of his debut Disc with a visit to New York City scheduled this week and an appearance on TODAY.
We had the pleasure of seeing Mendes perform at the Universal Music Canada Parking Lot this past August and he sounded great. We even witnessed a crazed Fan rush him on-stage despite there being hoards of Security! More on that here.
Something Big, Mendes’ latest Single:
Surely you’ve heard Life of the Party on the Radio right?
Let’s be real. We can never have enough Celeb Selfies! 2014 was a year I’ll never forget and will forever go down as one of our most star-studded yet! Our travels brought us to L.A. and New York, but our most exciting adventures took place here in our Hometown of Toronto! Let’s take a walk down our star-studded memory lane to some of our fave Celeb moments of 2014!
Who were you most excited to see? The red-hot Benedict Cumberbatch? The private Usher? The iconic Tom Cruise?The adorable Anna Kendrick? “It Boy” Ansel Elgort? How about “It Girl” Shailene Woodley? The incredibly-tough Reese Witherspoon? The irresistible Tom Hardy?!
Also, we want to share with you some of our fave of the several thousand Celeb Snaps we took in 2014! Chances are if there was a major Star in-town this year, we at some point snapped them!
2014 will go down as one of the strongest years for Cinema in recent memory, but which Movies rocked our World? And which Singles ruled our iPod? You’re about to find out!
Re-live some of our Fave Celeb Selfies of 2014 (click HD for better quality):
My most “liked” Selfie on Social Media of 2014 though? Easy!
2. GONE GIRL
6. THE IMITATION GAME
8. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
9. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
10. THE LEGO MOVIE
Perhaps under-seen, WHIPLASH is the one Film you absolutely must see this year. J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller will shatter your World with their performances! You’ll leave shaken and sobered.
1. ALL ABOUT THAT BASS – Meghan Trainor
2. BLANK SPACE – Taylor Swift
3. WEST COAST – Lana Del Rey
4. BOOM CLAP – Charli XCX
5. POMPEII – Bastille
6. STAY WITH ME – Sam Smith
7. SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT – 5 Seconds of Summer
8. COUNTING STARS – OneRepublic
9. SHAKE IT OFF – Taylor Swift
10. SAY SOMETHING – A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera
2014 was all about that bass for us. Meghan Trainor blew our mind with her positive message about body image. We’re sold and extremely excited for her 2015 full-length Debut.
Won’t you join us as we embark on more exciting adventures in Entertainment 2015? Also stay tuned for an upcoming Post where our Contributors Jonathan Godfrey, Justin Waldman, David Baldwin and George Kozera share their fave Films of 2014 too!
Happy Holidays, Willionaire$!
Photos Post-TIFF ’14 taken on Nikon D3300. Photos pre-TIFF ’14 taken on Olympus E-PL5/Samsung S4.
In what seems like an overnight success, 16-year-old Pop Sensation Shawn Mendes of Pickering, has taken the World by storm. After first surfacing on the Application Vine where he uploaded cover versions of others’ Hits, Fans around the World began taking notice quickly. His Single Life of the Party made him the first Artist ever under the age 25 to debut in the Top 25 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
Currently on-tour with Teen Pop Sensation Austin Mahone, the two along with Supporting Acts like The Vamps, perform tonight at TD Echo Beach. Mendes has spent his time back home wisely, including an Interview on KISS 92.5 yesterday afternoon and today a live Performance/Q&A at Universal Music Canada‘s Headquarters Parking Lot in Scarborough courtesy of Nokia and Microsoft. He also will be meeting Fans at an HMV location downtown for those lucky enough to nab themselves a Wristband.
Hosted by MuchMusic‘s Liz Trinnear, we got to witness Mendes up-close as her performed his two Singles Life of the Party and Show You as his hoards of young female Fans shouted his name amidst a sea of “I Love You”. The self-professed Tim Hortons Fan admits that the Fast Food/Coffee Chain is what he misses most about Canada, now that he is signed to Universal Music/Island Records and based in the U.S. He says also that he wouldn’t mind dating a Fan which drove his Fans crazy. One Admirer perhaps took that a bit too literally, jumping on-stage and hugging him. Although a little started, Security had things in order rather quickly! Hope it was worth it. YOLO!
You can download Top Five-charting The Shawn Mendes EP now digitally here!
See a Clip of Mendes performing Life of the Party below:
In the meantime, enjoy some snaps we got below:
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong | Audio content: Universal Music Canada)