Last weekend we were invited to join a group of bloggers to attend the Canadian music awards. We got our first taste for the Junos when they were held in Calgary back in 2016. It was a really great year for Canadian music with performances from the Weekend and Dear Rouge to name a few highlights and it made us hungry for more. To top it off, when the invite comes from one of the event sponsors who also happens to be one of your favourite Canadian brands, you don’t think twice about accepting!
Starting the JUNOs Journey with London Drugs
London Drugs has been part of our journey for many many years now, before the blog even existed, as a destination for all our photo and tech needs. Fun fact: they are one of the few places in all of Canada that still develop film. As a big supporter of Canadian artists, London Drugs has always been one of our top destinations—together and individually for cameras, electronics, and music. I thought it only fitting that the gear we brought with us to the Junos weekend were some of our top essentials we can’t live without while travelling and for experiencing music.
“As a big supporter of Canadian artists, London Drugs has always been one of our top destinations, together, and individually, for cameras, electronics and music.”
In-Flight Tech Essentials
The weekend begun with a flight over to Vancouver and since we were already out west it was a quick one hour trip. Of course, no amount of travel is ever complete without a set of headphones—since we’re both on the latest iPhone X, those are always wireless. Over-ear wireless headphones are probably my favourite thing EVER right now. It’s like everything you love about that look without everything you used to dislike about it, i.e. the long cord that always got in your way.
Day One in Vancouver
From the airport we were whisked away to the brand new J.W. Marriott Parq Hotel, conveniently located next door to the arena where the Junos broadcast was going to happen just two days later. Until then we took in local restaurants (hotels own Honey Salt and La Pentola), a standup comedy night at Juno Fest, the Ready Player One activation downtown Vancouver (who went to see it this weekend?!) and even had some time to locate the Tacofino truck parked nearby!
A Platform for Canadian Artists
The Canadian arts are unfortunately cursed by being in such close proximity to the United States and often artists don’t get the credit they deserve because all our attention gets easily redirected to the south of the border. The Junos provide a platform for all Canadian music to find it’s voice and it was a great opportunity to learn more about it, discover the newest and most exciting talent, and reconnect with the ones that we’ve always loved.
“The Junos provide a platform for all Canadian music to find it’s voice and it was a great opportunity to learn more about it, discover the newest and most exciting talent, and reconnect with the ones that we’ve always loved.”
Michael Buble was the host of the evening and the Barenaked Ladies celebrated their induction to the Canadian Hall of Fame by performing their most loved ‘If I had a $1,000,000’ and ‘One Week‘ taking us all the way back to the best of the 90s! We had a chance to walk two red carpets over the course of our visit and experience the live broadcast of the awards themselves, along with being treated like total VIPs with dinners, parties and even a morning yoga session with Lululemon & DJ Felix Cartal (when in Rome)!
Appreciating Canadian Talent
As consumers of popular culture, it should be our responsibility to support local artists. Before he was a mega superstar Justin Bieber was also just a kid whose parents recorded YouTube videos in his home in Ontario. Without the support of their communities, artists are just people with creative hobbies. There is an unfortunate catch-22 associated with having to prove yourself outside of your home before getting the recognition you need to make a name for yourself.
As digital creators, we face this all the time—the understanding of how much work, sweat, and tears goes into making your dreams into reality puts things into perspective. We must appreciate the talents we have right here at home and nurture them so they continue providing us with inspiration and bring pride to the country as a whole, and it totally gives us bragging rights when talking about Canada on a global scale!
Lights! Camera! Junos!
Lights! Camera! Access! That was all I could think of when walking down the red carpet at this year’s Junos. Entertainment and news shows lined the walls of the tent as performers and producers answered questions and flaunted their designer looks. It’s always the biggest treat when you get to get an inside look at how our favourite shows are made.
TV is such a fascinating medium and the more I uncover it the more tangible it becomes. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll find ourselves on an all different side of the camera. Tyler was, of course, on camera duty for the whole thing, snapping photos as we made our way through the crowd, even spotting our fave ladies from the London Drugs team reporting live on all the action (you can see the full report on the London Drugs Twitter & Instagram pages).
Thank you to the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) for hosting such an unforgettable weekend and London Drugs for always being our go-to for all things tech and music! xoxo
Our Junos gear: Defunc over ear bluetooth headphones, Marshall bluetooth portable speaker, Logiix battery pack + cable, Canon DSL 5D mark iv camera, iphone X, Sony a7rii camera, all available at LONDON DRUGS
For more of Ania B’s favourite Vancouver hotspots, visit her Vanouver City Guide and the travel category in the main menu.
Blog courtesy of Ania B