Hamilton wants to host the Juno Awards again

Councillors passed a motion inviting Canada's largest music awards show to come back to the Hammer. The city is also establishing a music working group.

City also establishing a 'music working group'

Treble Charger performs at the 2001 Juno Awards in Hamilton in this March 4, 2001 file photo. (Aaron Harris/Canadian Press)

Hamilton wants to host the Juno Awards again, and on Wednesday, councillors passed a motion saying so.

Members of the general issues committee voted to establish a music working group aimed at boosting the music business in Hamilton. They're also asking the organizers of Canada's largest music awards to bring the show back to the Hammer.

"It's a national level music awards program," said Coun. Brian McHattie of Ward 1, who moved the motion. "Any time you get a national level event, it puts you on the map."

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

The awards help establish Hamilton as a music destination, which is also the focus of the music working group, McHattie said. The group of about 25 will work with the city to expand Hamilton's festivals, attract more artists, set up studios and attract grant money.

The ultimate goal is to establish a music office, which would work similar to the city's film office, McHattie said.

"It would be a go-to staff person, so if you're interested in what Hamilton's doing or you want to bring your music business to Hamilton, we could help you," he said. "It would be obvious that we're in that game."

Toronto is setting up a music office, McHattie said. So "let's scoop them."

Lou Molinaro, owner of This Ain't Hollywood, likes the idea of a music working group. It adds legitimacy to an already thriving industry in Hamilton, he said.

Most people don't realize the economic benefits the industry brings, Molinaro said. It brings jobs, tax dollars and visitors to Hamilton.

"We're an Austin or a Nashville," he said. "We're a real music city."

As for the Juno Awards, "selfishly speaking, I don't think there should be anywhere else in Canada to host the Juno's other than Hamilton," he said.