Skip to main content

Some of Canada's biggest names in music reveal what they were thinking at the Juno Awards

1 of 4

1970s: Anne Murray What stands out to Anne Murray about this photo from 1973 at Toronto's Inn at the Park isn't fellow icons Gordon Lightfoot and Stompin' Tom Connors, but the cigarette in her left hand. Canada's beloved songbird remembers when she was still smokin'. “I was always so embarrassed that I was holding a cigarette in this picture. When I've published it in the past, I've always airbrushed out the cigarette. I don't care about that any more, though. I haven't smoked in a hundred years. “It was a much smaller club back then, and you kind of knew everybody. Even though we didn't see each other at all – we were so busy. But you know what? I still feel that camaraderie when I go to the Junos. It's great to see all these people. It's a thrill for me; I feel like a mother. I used to feel that way with Shania Twain and Celine Dion and those girls, because they always gave me credit for paving the way in Canadian music.”

Plum Communications Inc.

2 of 4

1980s: Liona Boyd When guitarist Liona Boyd left the Juno ceremony at Toronto's O'Keefe Centre on Feb. 5, 1981, she went home with the trophy for the year's top instrumental artist but not with her escort, the Prime Minister of Canada. “Gloria Loring [the actress] had lent me her dress. I was afraid it was a little too low-cut. Gloria said, ‘Oh, it doesn't matter.' After the show, Pierre advised that we leave separately. It was all so crazy. I mean, I was single and he was separated. “Pierre loved classical music. I gave him my whole Beethoven-symphony collection. I also gave him the Goldberg Variations that Glenn Gould had recorded. He had quite a few musician friends. He was a Frenchman – he had lots of girlfriends, too. I'm sure I wasn't the only performer he dated. I have to think I was pretty important, though, because he wanted me to live with him in Montreal. He was quite disappointed when I turned him down.”

3 of 4

1990s: Ashley MacIsaac On March 9, 1997, Ashley MacIsaac, who would take the prize for the year's instrumental artist of the year, opened the ceremony at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum with a shirtless, spirited tear through Devil in the Kitchen. The unbridled Cape Breton fiddler recalls his talked-about appearance. “I've always liked this picture, I must say. The performance itself was one of those where the guys at the side of the stage say to the producer, ‘Is he all right?' and the producer says, ‘Yeah … he's going to be great.' I walked out onstage and let loose. I don't remember any of the performance; I remember before and after. It was one of those nights where you just give 'er all. “For me, it was the opportunity that I never knew I could have, as a Cape Breton kid, which was ... to say to Canada, ‘My music is as good as rock music or as good as any other music.'”

Grant W. Martin

4 of 4

2000s: Emily Haines When indie rockers Metric won top-group honours a year ago in St. John's, the award represented something bigger than the band itself: Singer Emily Haines sees it as a nod to the broader Canadian music scene, one with plenty of room on either side of the road's traditional middle. “For us, the whole experience was unexpected. It's a relatively new phenomenon for us to be accepted by mainstream publications – certainly television. Having been invisible to such a respected organization as the Junos, it's always nice to suddenly appear. That's how we felt: Suddenly we were recognized by the Canadian establishment as being legitimate musicians. “When I look at artists like Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire and K'naan and Leslie [Feist], it's interesting to see how our generation has found an identity together, based on the fact that we all have very different sounds and have taken very different paths.”

Andrew Vaughan/Andrew Vaughan / CP

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at