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

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

Town has passed the 2021 budget, with a five per cent spending increase. (Claire Palmer photo)
Town council approves 2021 budget and tax rate bylaw

The budget will increase by five per cent this year

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

What3words was first created in the U.K. in 2013 and is credited to saving the lives of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. (Contributed)
‘This is a life saving tool’: App helps paramedics find capsized canoeists near Revelstoke

What3words pinpoints the person’s phone location to a three-meter range

The City of Vernon is taking a close look at six high-priority Okanagan Lake access points, including three sites along Tronson Road (pictured above) in May 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looking closely at Okanagan Lake access points

Six access points have been identified as ideal for recreation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in South Okanagan

The area will see higher police presence ahead of a forensic examination

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Most Read