Juno Awards 2012: Drake, Deadmau5, Feist Dominate Nominations
Another year, another Juno nominees list that reads like the actual year in music -- and not just Canadian music -- with nominations for the April 1 William Shatner-hosted award show going to North America's biggest stars, from Drake and DeadMau5 to Justin Bieber and Michael Buble to Feist and F---ed Up. (And, yes, to Nickelback and somehow Avril, too).
The latter are a reminder of how ridiculous the Juno Awards used to be. They were often called the Canadian Grammys -- except there was rarely any crossover between the nominees lists -- and the Junos inability to recognize the surging early-2000s indie scene inspired the creation of the Polaris Prize to award the actual best Canadian album. Sales were all that mattered for the big awards which prized quantity over quality.
Of course, sales still matter -- the top awards remain restricted to artists who pass certain quotas -- but the difference is that, for the most part, the best Canadians are also major sellers. As well, the alternative categories now read like a Polaris shortlist -- not to mention reading like many New York music critics' year-end lists.
A few weeks back we wrote about 2011 being the year Canadian music broke, referencing an old alt-rock doc but also talking about how Canadian artists had broken out across all genres, from pop and hip-hop to alternative and adult contemporary to dance and rock.
And these Juno nominations -- alongside Sunday's Grammys awards -- simply proves our point, even if Justin Bieber and Michael Buble's best album nominations for their Christmas records denied more deserving nominees of the spotlight.