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The Best Things We Saw at the 2024 Juno Awards

Halifax welcomed the Canadian music industry into a great big sea of excitement.

by Sophie Noel

The Juno Awards are often referred to as “Canada’s biggest night in music,” but this year seemed to be set to a simmer rather than a bang. Maybe last year’s streaker protesting the logging of old growth set the bar too high, but there’s also nothing wrong with a low-key affair every once in a while. Right?

Throughout the weekend we were treated to a number of fantastic JunoFest performances at various venues around the city, and when it came to the actual awards ceremony, we witnessed some unexpected and well-deserved wins. Hosted by the enigmatic Nelly Furtado, the 2024 Juno Awards had plenty to celebrate and we were on the ground for all of it.

Here are some our favourite things that we witnessed throughout the weekend.

Begonia’s performance at the Seahorse Tavern

Begonia (Photo: Sophie Noel)

Starting our weekend with a bang, Begonia absolutely tore it up on Friday evening on stage at the Seahorse for Château Gâteau, a showcase presented by Birthday Cake Records and Manitoba Music. The lineup included Nova Scotian singer-songwriter T. Thomason, Toronto R&B and hip hop duo TRP.P, moccasin gaze artist Zoon, and P.E.I. rapper Vince the Messenger.

Begonia’s performance demeanour is candid, fervent, and comfortable. The stage is her domain, and her draw is effortless. It was a joy to watch her hold the audience in the palm of her hand and perform songs from her album Powder Blue, nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. The award may not have been hers this year, but everyone in that room certainly was.


Anne Murray presenting the Beaches with the award for Rock Album of the Year

Anne Murray and the Beaches

Anne Murray was charmingly humble on stage. Some of you might be too young to know much about me”, she laughed, followed by uproarious cheering: “Oh, maybe not!” The Beaches beat out the Blue Stones, Glorious Sons, Crown Lands, and Metric for the award, and later performed their breakthrough single “Blame Brett” to close the show.

Read our interview with The Beaches here! 


Kyle Brownrigg thanking drugs in his acceptance speech for Comedy Album of the Year

Kyle Brownrigg (second from right) and friends.

Later in the media room, a journalist asked Brownrigg to clarify which drug he recommended, so that others might have a chance of being so funny. “Coke. Definitely coke! Try it if you have the chance,” Brownrigg laughed, adding that Dartmouth was the first place he’d ever done the drug. Stars: they’re just like us.


Bambii and Lu Kala clapping back at reporters asking about representation


Bambii, winner of the Electronic Album of the Year category for her record INFINITY CLUB, responded to questions about representation in the electronic music scene with concision: “I have been asked this question for seven years.” She made the point that if representation was increasing to the point of being acceptable, she wouldn’t need to be asked about it anymore. I feel like were celebrating progress a little too early. Were not there yet,” she said.

This is what Lu Kala, nominee for Single of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the year, had to say about being a Black woman in pop music: “It would be nice to be up here just as Lu Kala, but right now I feel like I’m up here as Lu Kala and every Black artist who wants to do something outside the box.”


Tegan and Sara calling out the Alberta government for transphobic policy

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara Quinn were presented the Humanitarian Award by Elliot Page, and used their time on the stage to full effect. “If the world were not so hostile to 2SLGBTQ+ people, we would see ourselves purely as musicians,” Sara said, affirming the duo’s dedication to “confronting any form of discrimination that threatens the wellbeing of our community,” and references the Alberta government’s recent policy change affecting access to gender-affirming care for trans youth.


Karan Aujla making history

Karan Aujla

Rapper and singer Karan Aujla from Surrey, B.C. will go down in the books as the first non-white artist to win a Fan Choice Award in the category’s 21-year history. He left us with these inspiring words: “If you’re a dreamer, make sure you dream big.”


David Francey musing on his music career


“It sure beats roofing.”