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2020 Juno Awards cancelled over coronavirus concerns

The event was scheduled to take place this Sunday, March 15, in Saskatoon.

The event was scheduled to take place this Sunday, March 15, in Saskatoon

The decision to cancel the 2020 Juno Awards was made a day after the World Health Organization declared the current COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Today, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), the Junos and CBC Music announced that the 2020 Junos will no longer move forward with its March 15 broadcast and related Juno Week events in Saskatoon.

The award show was scheduled to take place at SaskTel Centre with pop star Alessia Cara serving as this year's host. Performers included Daniel Caesar, Lennon Stella, Tory Lanez, City and Colour and more.

A press release from CARAS and the Juno Awards stated: "Through our collaborative discussions and with input and guidance and the full support of our trusted partners, including the province of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon, Tourism Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Health Authority and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, it is with an incredibly heavy heart that we collectively confirm the cancellation of the 49th Annual Juno Awards and Juno Week activities in Saskatoon due to concerns surrounding COVID-19." 

"We are devastated to cancel this national celebration of music, but at this time of global uncertainty, the health, safety and well-being of all Canadians must stand at the forefront of any decisions that impact our communities," it continued. "We know this is the right decision based on the information we currently have and are continuing to receive. The situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials."

This decision was made a day after the World Health Organization declared the current COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. As such, many public events and forums have been closed or postponed. 

In the music and entertainment industry, festivals like South by Southwest and Coachella have cancelled and pushed back their annual events, respectively.

A number of Canadian musicians have also hit pause on international tour dates including Neil Young, Avril Lavigne, Angela Hewitt and Wolf Parade. Yesterday, the NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The NHL is currently "evaluating its options" and is expected to make an announcement regarding its season today.