If London, Ontario wasn’t on the nation’s radar before, it certainly is now. This is because the Forest City won the bid to host the 2019 Juno Awards. London is no stranger to hosting significant events, but this is no doubt the most notable of its kind. The Juno Awards receive nationally televised coverage, and each host city has seen an average economic impact of $10m. Hosting the awards is an excellent opportunity to elevate London’s already emerging reputation as a culturally rich and diverse city.
Often referred to as “The Grammy’s of Canada,” the Juno’s are the most important night of the year for Canadian musicians. The evening, which was first televised in 1975, honours standout performers from the year and inducts new members to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The event attracts a ton of A-list celebrities and industry bigwigs. There are currently forty-four awards honouring a wide range of genres. Members of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and experts in specific music styles are responsible for choosing the winners.
This year’s (2018) awards will take place in Vancouver, which has a population of 650,000. London winning the bid with such a low population is indeed a victory for the city’s future. It is, in fact, the smallest city from Ontario to host the awards.
Daiene Vernile, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport is elated about this win for London saying, “Ontario is a key music hub in Canada and North America.” She goes on to explain that, “our vibrant culture is driven by our exceptional talent and diversity, making Ontario a great fit for hosting the JUNO Awards in 2019. We have a thriving music industry that makes a significant contribution to Ontario’s economy by creating jobs, generating sales and building the province’s profile at an international level. I am thrilled to welcome the JUNOS to London.”
So how did London land such a significant event? They put in an initial bid of $1.5m. The City forked over $500k but will not fund beyond that. Tourism London sought the remaining $1.2 from the province and other funding sources. With the bid came an announcement that starting on January 29th, one dollar from every ticket sale at music venues throughout the city will be donated to MusiCounts. MusiCounts is a charity with the profound mission to ensure that children and youth across Canada have access to musical education.
In recent years, London has seen a considerable increase in demand for concerts and festivals, especially in the warmer months. Trackside Festival, which began a couple of summers ago, has attracted significant country artists to the city each summer. Rock the Park has established itself as a London tradition spanning over two weekends each year. These festivals have helped increase London’s appeal to artists and nonlocals alike.
With Budweiser Gardens becoming a staple event venue in Southwestern, Ontario and London becoming the host city for a ton of music festivals and concerts, it comes as no surprise they wanted to bid for the Juno Awards. Last year the city saw the most significant event of its kind when it hosted the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards. The night was a massive success for the city and London is set to host again in 2018.
London is a city flourishing with small businesses, events and a solid music community. Recent years have brought in a significant influx of interest to preserve the city’s culture. Landing the Juno Awards will have a positive impact on the exposure the city has to the rest of the nation musically and culturally. We are very excited to see what positive effects this event brings to London!