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A Closer Look at the 2023 Juno Award Nominees

Featuring a star-studded lineup including Jessie Reyez, Tate McRae, The Weeknd, Rêve, and more.

by Michelle Cavaleri

Now that the Juno Award nominees have been announced, the Prairies are getting ready to roll out the red carpet for the biggest night in Canadian music. The annual awards show returns on March 13, 2023, this time in Edmonton, AB. Featuring performances by Canadian superstars Jessie Reyez, Tate McRae, Alexisonfire, and more, actor Simu Liu makes his return as host.

It’s always exciting to see the nominations for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, as we know iconic names like The Weeknd, Avril Lavigne and Drake have taken this award home and have gone on to become international stars. This year’s fresh faces include Rêve, Dax, Devon Cole, Preston Pablo, and RealestK. For Rêve, 2022 was a massive year with her hit “CTRL + ALT + DEL,” which she will also be performing when she takes the stage with Banx & Ranx and Preson Pablo. Pablo has been nominated in three categories, including Single of the Year for his track “Flowers Need Rain.”

While we are seeing new names popping up, the Juno Awards is also loaded with Canadian music mainstays. Avril Lavigne made her presence known in 2022 with her Travis Barker produced album, Love Sux, which landed her four nominations for Album of the Year, Pop album of the Year, Single of the Year, and Artist of the Year. The Weeknd dominated the radio airwaves in 2022, and subsequently earned six nominations for his album Dawn FM, including a nod for Artist of the Year, making him the 10th most-nominated artist in Juno history.

Some notable Indigenous artists include OMBIIGIZI for Alternative Album of the Year and Digging Roots who are nominated for Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year. First-time nominee Aysanabee, also nominated for Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year, will perform on the Juno Awards Broadcast.

It’s hard to ignore the snubs for this year’s Juno Awards. Rock Album of the Year, Rap Album of the Year, and the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year categories have no female nominees. In 2022, we saw the first ever female nomination in  the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year category with Hill Kourkoutis. Carley Rae Jepson and Tegan and Sara were also notably snubbed, each artist receiving only one nomination each. And the fact that Arcade Fire is up for any accolades has a number of artists understandably upset following the sexual harassment allegations against frontman Win Butler that surfaced last year.  

With Jessie Reyez set to perform at the awards ceremony, she’s also up for two awards for her album Yessie in the categories Music Video of the Year and Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year, a category that s sufficiently stacked with some very notable rising stars including ArtHaus recording artist Adria Kain and Savannah Re and Dylan Sinclair who spoke to RANGE recently about breaking out of the suburbs with purpose.

To find out who takes home a statuette of their own, tune into the Juno Awards Broadcast live on CBC on March 13, 2023.