Big winner The Weeknd took home five honours at the 2023 JUNO Awards on March 11 and 13 in Edmonton. He earned awards for Album, Pop Album (both for Dawn FM), Single (for “Sacrifice”), Artist, and Songwriter of the Year sponsored by SOCAN. This makes him the second most awarded JUNO winner in history, with 22 wins (second only to Anne Murray with 25).
While Abel Tesfaye didn’t attend the JUNOs, the Broadcast Awards show on Monday, March 13, from Rogers Place in Edmonton – expertly hosted by Simu Liu (who also displayed his musical skills) for the second year in a row, and once again highlighting diversity and youth – featured exciting performances from
- Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees Nickelback;
- TikTok star and five-time 2023 nominee Tate McRae;
- fast-rising Indigenous singer-songwriter and 2023 JUNO nominee Aysanabee, performing with traditional group Northern Cree;
- global pop star AP Dhillon, the first person to perform entirely in Punjabi on the JUNOs stage;
- worldwide hit phenomenon and Breakthrough Group of the Year Banx and Ranx, with Breakthrough Artist of the Year Preston Pablo and 2023 Dance Recording of the Year winner Rêve;
- R&B Album of the Year winner (her fifth JUNO honour) Jessie Reyez; and
- a showstopping, high-energy performance celebrating the history and present of Canadian hip-hop, that included Kardinal Offishall Haviah Mighty, 2023 Rap Album of the Year winner TOBi, Maestro Fresh Wes, Michie Mee, Dream Warriors, Choclair, Rich Kidd, and DJ Mel Boogie.
SOCAN’s Creative Team and Communications & Marketing Department were on the scene non-stop, working to support our members as they reach for their dreams.
At the pre-broadcast gala on Saturday, March 11, at the Edmonton Convention Centre, SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown and Québec superstar and 2023 Francophone Album of the Year nominee Hubert Lenoir presented the Songwriter of the Year Award to The Weeknd. Bekah Simms’s Bestiary I & II was the Classical Composition of the Year, while the Francophone Album of the Year was Crash by Les Louanges, and the Contemporary Indigenous Album of the Year went to Digging Roots.
For a full list of winners and nominees, visit the winners page on the JUNOs website.
On Sunday, March 12, SOCAN presented the JUNO Songwriters’ Circle – known as “the jewel of JUNO week” – bringing together music creators to play their songs and share the stories behind them. This year’s event, hosted by CBC Music’s Damhnait Doyle (a former SOCAN board member) featured heartfelt performances and engaging stories from:
- Adria Kain;
- Dan Mangan;
- The Reklaws;
- Lauren Spencer Smith;
- 2023 Country Album of the Year winner Tenille Townes;
- Contemporary Roots Album of the Year winners The Bros. Landreth;
- Tyler Shaw; and
- Wild Rivers
SOCAN also presented two No. 1 Song Awards during JUNO weekend:
- one to Jessie Reyez, for “Mutual Friend,” which reached the peak of the CBC Music Top 20 on Sept. 15, 2022; and
- one to Preston Pablo and Banx & Ranx for “Flowers Need Rain,” which topped the Billboard Canada Mainstream Adult Contemporary chart on Jan. 9, 2023, as well as the CBC Music Top 20 on Oct. 3, 2022.
As well, SOCAN co-sponsored the ADVANCE House afterparty, and took part in two important panels:
- Be the Change: In Conversation with ADVANCE/Music Canada
- Moderated by Olivier Vander Zang (of Music Canada)
- Keziah Myers (ADVANCE)
- Carmen Spencer (Sony)
- SOCAN’s Lord Quest.
- Women in Music Canada – Sharing Their Stories: Overcoming Roadblocks & Building an Equitable Future
Held during the Women in Music Canada brunch for female-identifying music industry representatives
- Moderated by Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of SOCAN Foundation
- Helen Britton (Six Shooter)
- Nuela Charles (artist)
- Henca Maduro (Founder, New Skool Rules)
SOCAN conducted interviews with several of our nominated members during JUNO weekend, and chatted with many more of them on the red carpet. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll share video highlights, interviews, and photos from the 2023 JUNO weekend, so stay tuned to www.socanmagazine.ca, www.socan.com, and our social media.
Congratulations to all our nominated and award-winning SOCAN members at the 2023 JUNOs!