City hopes to dazzle Juno Awards officials on Friday

It’s between Hamilton and one other city to host the 2015 Juno Awards, and officials will be in town Friday to size up the Steel City.
Treble Charger performs at the 2001 Juno Awards in Hamilton in this March 4, 2001 file photo. (Aaron Harris/Canadian Press)

It’s between Hamilton and one other city to host the 2015 Juno Awards, and officials will be in town Friday to size up the Steel City.

On Wednesday, councillors officially voted to host the awards, including spending $250,000 to make it happen. Later this week, city staff will give awards officials a tour to prove the city’s worth, said Susan Monarch, manager of Tourism Hamilton.

They’ll show them “Copps Coliseum, the hotels, everything,” Monarch said.

She doesn’t know which city the other contender is, she said, but “we haven’t pursued it. We believe it’s us.”

Hamilton has hosted the Juno Awards several times over the years, but it hasn’t been back to Copps Coliseum since 2001. Recent host cities include Regina, Winnipeg and St. John’s.

City councillors voted in May to approach the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences asking to host the ceremonies again. They also voted to establish a city music office.

“This is the Grey Cup of music in our country,” said Coun. Jason Farr of Ward 2 at a general issues committee meeting on Wednesday.

“It’s a low, low price of $250,000 — from a reserve — when you consider the payback we’re going to get as a city.”

Farr said afterward that he didn’t know the identity of the other city, but that he felt good about Hamilton's chances. So did Coun. Russ Powers of Dundas, who had heard of two other Canadian cities who want it, but kept mum on who they were.

Coun. Sam Merulla doesn’t just want to host the ceremonies in 2015.

“If there’s any way we can communicate that we’re trying to be part of the regular rotation, that would be advantageous as well,” he said.

Hosting the Juno Awards would be an economic boost to Hamilton. From 2007 to 2013, a staff report says, the awards have caused an economic impact of nearly $78 million.

That includes an $11-million economic impact for Ottawa, which hosted the awards in 2012.

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