If you ever needed evidence of the diversity in Canadian music – or the fact that the Junos can be a bit of an Oprah “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!” love-in – you couldn't do better than the Juno Fan Choice category, which bundles together Drake, Carly Rae Jepsen, Metric, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Leonard Cohen, Marianas Trench, Michael Buble, Nickelback and Hedley.
But let’s be less cynical and instead appreciate an award show that dares break down to a metaphorical cage match between Leonard Cohen and Rush against Carly Rae and Bieber.
That said, both legendary oldsters got shut out of the Album of the Year prize, despite Cohen's number one debut for "Old Ideas." Instead, the Junos' top category comes off more like six degrees of "Call Me Maybe" with hat tips for Carly Rae Jepsen's "Kiss," her hit song's co-songwriter Josh Ramsay's emo-rock outfit, Marianas Trench and her royal benefactor Justin Bieber's "Believe." Hedley and Celine Dion round out the category.
Single of the Year earns another nomination for Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" (she got a Juno-leading five in total) which takes on seven-time Juno-winners Billy Talent's "Viking Death March," Hedley's "Kiss You Inside Out," Serena Ryder's "Stompa" and the Sheepdogs' "The Way It Is."
Cohen did, however, get a nominee for Artist of the Year alongside Jepsen and Bieber as well as EDM overlord Deadmau5 and Irish-Canadian country singer Johnny Reid. Rush landed a spot on the Group of the Year, in advance of their upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, alongside Metric, Sheepdogs, Marianas Trench and Billy Talent.
Rush's "Clockwork Angels" also landed the band a best rock album nomination beside Tragically Hip, Billy Talent, Big Wreck and The Sheepdogs.
If you were wondering where Canada's beloved indie acts are, look no further than best alternative album, which
has been historically the awards' strongest category since it came online. This year is no exception, with international indie-rock superstars Japandroids "Celebration Rock" leading the charge alongside Metric's "Synthetica," Stars' "the North," Said the Whale' Little Mountain" and Hannah Georgas' self-titled album.
Adult alternative is similarly strong, led by Kathleen Edwards comeback record 'Voyageur" facing off albums from Bahamas, Royal Wood, Serena Ryder and Barr Brothers.
Songwriter of the year pits Leonard Cohen against, well, people daring to be in a songwriter competition against Leonard Cohen. Kathleen Edwards, Bahamas, Hannah Georgas and Arkells are all great songwriters, but this one should already be on Cohen's mantle.
Breakthrough artist of the year finally includes an industry acknowledgement of The Weeknd, whose three free download albums were ignored by the Junos because they weren’t for sale. He's joined by Polaris-nominated indie-superstar Grimes, fellow Polaris shortlister Cold Specks and Elisapie. Also in the category are Yukon Blonde, Monster Truck, Hey Ocean, Walk Off The Earth and, weirdly, The Pack AD, a Vancouver rock duo who've now have been around for quite some time.
The best electronic album category delivered another stellar collection of nominees with Crystal Castles' "III," Daphni's "Jiaolong," Grimes' "Visions," Purity Ring's "Shrines and Trust's "TRST."
Pop album comes down to another showdown between Jepsen and Bieber as well as cannon fodder like Nelly Furtado and Victoria Duffield. International album features Maroon 5, Mumford & Sons, One Direction, Rod Stewart and Taylor Swift, but who knows why the Junos still dole this one out. Alex Cuba and Danny Michel got nods for world music album while Josh Ramsly and Metric's James Shaw got the same for best producer. best video is highlighted by Drake's "HYFR" and Walk Off the Earth's "Little Boxes." Adam Cohen, Leonard's son, also got a Juno nomination for the awards newest category Adult Contemporary, though he's facing off against Celine Dion so, uh, bonne chance.
The Juno Awards will be visiting Regina and Moose Jaw for the first time on April 21 and will be airing on CTV, which landed a historic 6.5 million viewers for the 2012 Junos. Announced performers include: Marianas Trench, Billy Talent and Carly Rae Jespen.