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'We must do better': Tegan and Sara on Juno gender gap

The Canadian pop stars point out that, in eight categories at this year's awards, no women are nominated.

The Canadian pop duo points out that, in eight categories, no women are nominated

Pop duo Tegan and Sara formed in 1995 in Calgary, Alta. (Supplied by the artists)

Canadian pop duo Tegan and Sara were nominated for three Juno Awards this week — but in addition to saying thanks, they're also pointing out the awards' deep gender disparity.

In a statement released on their website, the twin sisters congratulate their fellow nominees as well as honorees Sarah McLachlan and Buffy Sainte-Marie, and describe the moving feeling of receiving their first Juno in front of family, friends, peers and fans in 2014.

The pair then points out the "disappointing number of women" nominated in many of the categories.

"In eight categories no women were recognized at all, and in over 12 additional categories, only one in five of the nominees included a woman. Specifically in the areas of production and engineering, it is discouraging to not see a single woman represented," they write, before calling on all levels of the industry to do better.

"We bring this message to members of our industry who have tremendous power to sign, fund, promote, nominate, support, acknowledge, and celebrate the diverse population of our country working in the arts today. The demographic breakdown of Juno nominations reflects the structural confines of our society and industry," they say.

"We must do better as it sends an outdated message to the next generation about whose art and voice and message is valuable."

The pair goes on to say how much they appreciate their record label, agents, managers, promoters, radio programmers, journalists and more, as well as the individuals who have supported them from the start.

"But we wouldn't be Tegan and Sara if we didn't speak our minds about this important issue," they conclude. "We write this message today in the hopes that we can all work towards balancing the scales for women, people of colour, and LGBTQIIA artists and bands in our country in the years to come."

You can read the full statement here. The 46th annual Juno Awards will be handed out April 2 at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.

— Jennifer Van Evra, q digital staff

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