Meet the Ottawa-area artists heading to the Junos
Nominees include Ottawa pop duo Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, and David Francey of nearby Elphin, Ont.
When the Juno Awards are handed out by Canadian music icon Sarah McLachlan in London, Ont., in March, there will be plenty of Ottawa talent in the room.
Here are the artists from the Ottawa region who made the list:
Alison Young, nominated for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo
Young, an Ottawa born and raised saxophone player, was nominated for her album So Here We Are. She will be touring with Corey Hart, who will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Kaia Kater, nominated for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year
Kater spent some time living in Wakefield, Que., and Ottawa before moving to Toronto to pursue her career. The americana artist is up for an award for her album Grenades, which explores her personal history and the story of her father's childhood and journey to Canada. She plays guitar, piano and banjo.
Belly, nominated for Rap Recording of the Year
Belly, born Ahmad Balshe, moved to Ottawa from the Palestinian territories and is nominated for his second album Immigrant. He got his start playing drums in various Ottawa punk bands at the age of 16, and has since co-written songs for artists including The Weeknd and Beyoncé.
David Francey, nominated for Traditional Roots Album of the Year
Folk singer David Francey was born in Scotland and immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 12. He lives in the small community of Elphin, Ont., about 100 km southwest of Ottawa. Francey has three Juno Awards on his shelf already, and is nominated for another for the album The Broken Heart of Everything.
Sue Foley, nominated for Blues Album of the Year
Foley, a blues singer and guitarist, is nominated this year for her album The Ice Queen. While her home is now in Austin, Texas, she was born and raised in Ottawa, and learned to play guitar at 13 years old. Her first Juno Award win came in 2001 for her album Love Coming Down.
Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year and Juno Fan Choice
Woods and Fine, a pop music duo from Ottawa, met in 2014 and quickly started producing independent music together. In 2017 they competed in the Canadian reality music competition The Launch. This is their fist time at the Junos, and they're nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year and the Fan Choice award.
Gareth Auden-Hole and Emil Mateja, nominated for Album Artwork of the Year
Auden-Hole, who goes by Jack Pine in his alt-folk-Canadiana band Jack Pine and The Fire, is nominated alongside illustrator Emil Mateja for the artwork to Jack Pine and The Fire's album Left To Our Own Devices. Auden-Hole and Mateja are both from Ottawa.
Splash'N Boots, nominated for Children's Album of the Year
Children's entertainers Splash'N Boots — Nick Adams and Taes Leavitt — started working together as a class project at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., in 2003. The pair have been nominated for the Junos multiple times before, and this time around are nominated for the album Love, Kisses and Hugs.
National Arts Centre Orchestra, nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble
The National Arts Centre Orchestra based in Ottawa has a renovated building to play in and a Juno nomination this year for its release New Worlds. It's the orchestra's fifth release in three years, and the third under the baton of current music director Alexander Shelley.
Joyce El-Khoury, nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral
El-Khoury, who came to Ottawa from Lebanon as a child and studied voice at the University of Ottawa, has been nominated for her album Écho, which features music associated with 19th-century soprano Julie Dorus-Gras, including arias by Berlioz, Donizetti, Meyerbeer and Weber. El-Khoury is praised for her bel canto singing.
Angela Hewitt, nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber
Hewitt, a pianist who was born in Ottawa and now lives in London, U.K., is vying for her fifth Juno Award for her recording Scarlatti: Sonatas Vol. 2. She began studying piano at the age of three and also studied at the University of Ottawa.
Miriam Khalil, nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral
Khalil immigrated to Ottawa with her family from Syria as a young girl. She majored in voice at the University of Ottawa and later moved to Toronto. This is the soprano's first Juno nomination, for her album Ayre: Live.