Serena Ryder, Johnny Reid set for Juno Awards show in Winnipeg
The stage is almost set for the most important night in the Canadian music industry and co-hosts Serena Ryder and Johnny Reid say they're ready.
Reid is a platinum-selling three-time Juno-winning artist and Ryder is a multi-platinum selling four-time Juno Award winner.
"This might be the only time, Serena was telling me backstage, that we'll have to use subtitles at the Junos, when I speak," laughed Reid, who was born in Scotland.
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Among the performers in town for the show are Walk off the Earth, Sarah McLachlan and Classified, a platinum-selling hip hop artist and 2013 Juno Award winner, who is also co-hosting with Reid and Ryder.
Reporters and cameras were allowed to listen-in on a sound check from multiple Juno nominees, Tegan and Sara.
We're optimistic we are going to blow the roof off this place.-John Brunton, Juno Awards executive producer
In addition to hosting, Ryder is one of the evening's marquee nominees with five nods including artist, album and single of the year.
Montreal's Arcade Fire, whose expansive fourth album Reflektor topped charts upon its October release, leads the way with six nominations.
Bublé — an 11-time winner and last year's host — earned five nominations including album, single and artist of the year while Calgary-reared pop outfit Tegan and Sara scooped up four nominations for their slick pop reinvention Heartthrob.
Other four-time nominees include Celine Dion (a 20-time winner), Hedley (now 25-time nominees) and Drake, now a 20-time nominee.
Winnipeg-born Chantal Kreviazuk and husband Raine Maida will receive the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, while classic Winnipeg rock outfit Bachman-Turner Overdrive will be ushered into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Tickets still available
As of Friday evening the Juno Awards show wasn't sold out.
Executive producer John Brunton said he blames the cold and competing ticket sales with the Winnipeg Jets hockey club.
"On Sunday night, we will have at least 10,000 fans," he said. "They are continuing to sell tickets non stop. We're optimistic we are going to blow the roof off this place."
Eastbound lanes of Portage Avenue will be closed for Juno activities starting at 9 p.m. Friday.