50 magical concert venues
that are the heart and soul
of Canadian music
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.
In 1970, when Joni Mitchell penned those lines from “Big Yellow Taxi,” she couldn’t have known how poignant they would be exactly 50 years later, when the COVID-19 pandemic deprived us of so many things we take for granted.
With public gatherings banned or severely limited, the music sector has been hit particularly hard. “It’s not only musicians that are hurting,” explained Juno Awards CEO Allan Reid during the 2021 nominations press conference, “it’s also the venues, their staff and production crews, all across the country.”
Their efforts to pivot and move live music online have been admirable, but nothing will ever replace the magical, shared experience of attending a show in a cozy café, bar, theatre or recital hall. For music-lovers and music-makers, the return to normal can’t come soon enough.
So, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Juno Awards, we’re celebrating 50 live music venues that are the heart and soul of Canadian music, as chosen by Juno winners and nominees, past and present. These spots have helped put their towns and cities on the map, and now we’re doing the same thing — literally.
Of course, these are only a fraction of the countless concert venues across Canada that enrich our lives. If there’s a live music venue in your community that you want the rest of Canada to know about, tell us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
To begin exploring, click on one of the six regions, below, or simply start scrolling.