5 things you may have missed at the 2018 Junos Songwriters' Circle

Some great moments from Jann Arden, Jim Cuddy, Iskwé, Scott Helman and more.

Some great moments from Jann Arden, Jim Cuddy, IsKwé, Scott Helman and more.

'Scott, we should do some writing together, because all I write are protest songs,' IsKwé suggested to Scott Helman during the Juno Songwriters' Circle. (CARAS/iPhoto)

Like the Juno Awards themselves, the 2018 Songwriters' Circle was a roller coaster of emotions and feelings, laughter and tears, and a sweet nod to where we've come from musically while also celebrating where we're going.

Co-hosted by Jann Arden and Bob Rock, the Songwriters' Circle was a two-hour event, divided into two parts, and broadcast live across the country on CBC Music. The first half of the show featured Arden, Rock, Iskwé, Rose Cousins and Scott Helman performing two songs each, and talking about their songwriting, while the second half featured Jim Cuddy and Ruth B joining Arden and Rock onstage to perform and discuss the backgrounds of their song craft.

The first half of the Songwriters' Circle will be re-broadcast on Canada Live via Radio One on Friday, March 30 at 2 p.m. and CBC Music on Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m. The second half will be re-broadcast on the same platforms and times one week later. We've got most of the audio from the event embedded below, too, so that you can either listen for the first time or re-live the experience over again.

CBC Music was in the audience during the show to bring you these five moments you may have missed from the 2018 Songwriters' Circle. 

Jann Arden and Bob Rock host the 2018 Junos Songwriters' Circle, featuring performances by Iskwé, Jim Cuddy, Rose Cousins, Ruth B and Scott Helman. 1:08:56

1. Ahead of her first song, IsKwé turned to Rock and said, "I told you I had a story.... Turns out we're related! Hi, Dad!" There were huge laughs and IsKwé clarified that she and Rock were actually distant cousins, and that when she was 10 years old, she actually rode in Rock's limo at a family reunion in Manitoba.

2. Scott Helman talked about how he doesn't feel comfortable enough yet writing protest songs, but he has channelled that into anthems about living in the moment. When he finished his song, IsKwé turned to Helman and said, "Scott, we should do some writing together, because all I write are protest songs." Jann Arden chimed in, commiserating, "I don't write well when I'm happy ... my music should be listened to alone in a van ... or laying alone on the bathroom floor. But, also, sadness is underrated." 

3. Arden wrote "Unloved" in the middle of the night on the inside book flap of the book she was reading at the time, which partly inspired the song "Grapes of Wrath." 

4. Jim Cuddy spoke about writing "Five Days in May," detailing how he was inspired to write the song about his bandmate's relationship to his wife after Blue Rodeo travelled to Australia together and the bandmate wrote his wife's name in the sand. 

5.Bob Rock talked about the first time he saw Paul Hyde on Vancouver Island, how his presence was frightening, but that only made Rock want to meet him even more. They spoke and bonded quickly over music, and worked in the mills together, before each pursuing music and music production more earnestly. Eventually in 1979, they wrote their first song: "China Boys." "We got a record deal on one song, which is pretty extraordinary," Rock said. "But the problem was we only had one song." That was the beginning of their band, the Payolas.

More to explore: 

All the best, weirdest, wildest, funniest things we overheard at the 2018 Junos 

Juno Awards 2018: all the best moments


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