I covered the 2011 Juno Awards broadcast last night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. You can check out the transcript of our live chat, here.
The organizers had a special press section called the “blogosphere” up on the sixth floor, which gave us a really good “birds eye view” of the event. It was quite interesting to see how the awards ceremony was produced. I’ve covered award shows in the past, but they were entirely different experiencing. For the Gemini Awards back in 2009, I was in the press room back stage, so I didn’t get to see the actual production aspects of the broadcast. As for the MuchMusic Video Awards, they are known to be all over the place. What happens with the press is that we’ve got an entire room setup with a photo wall, question area and then even our own small rooms for interviews – so we usually just watch the awards show from the monitors since they’ve got multiple stages around the iconic Queen & John building.
For the Junos broadcast at the Air Canada Centre, they had three main stage areas. The middle section was used for performances while smaller areas were set up on the right or left side. Drake usually did his hosting bit on the left-side while most presenters and winners appeared on the right — probably because it was closer to the side they were seated on; however when Neil Young and Shania Twain got their special wards, they had to walk all the way over to the left stage. With the view we had, we got to see the setup process for the middle stage and crew would setup and take down different sets for performances.
I didn’t really see much of the red carpet because I had to do my set up but I did catch a glimpse of Shawn Desman and Danny Fernandes perform – not really my thing, but I guess it saved us from having to watch it during the actual ceremony – maybe they could have squeezed in the Down With Webster performance on the red carpet as well?!
As for the televised performances, they were all pretty good. Yes, I did enjoy the display of celebrity mugshots during the DWW performance. My favourite performances included the Junos Superband, which included Sarah Harmer, Jim Cuddy, City and Colour, Justin Rutledge and Sarah Sleane, as well as Tokyo Police Club’s “Bambi.” I hadn’t really paid attention to Chromeo until last night, but I was pretty impressed with their performance of “Hot Mess.”
As for the awards, I was rooting for Arcade Fire and Neil Young – so I was satisfied. The funniest moment of the night was when Shania Twain professed her love of bush — apparently she was referring to our forestry. As for the host, Drake did a great job. Too bad they don’t give out awards for hosting the gig, the Toronto native was shut out from all the awards.
Click here for red carpet photos. You can also check our photos from the broadcast here. For complete Junos coverage, click here. You can check out the best and worst moments here. If fashion is your thing, rate the dresses here.
Here are some of the photos that I took last night. While it’s not the best quality (the one downside of the blogosphere section), it does provide you with a behind-the-scenes look of the event.