Who Will Host The Junos In Saskatoon?

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Sarah McLachlan can host my Juno awards anytime. She was outstanding at this year’s edition last week in London, Ont.

Back in 2007, Nelly Furtado did an OK job of hosting the awards in Saskatoon. Performers that night were Furtado, Alexisonfire, City and Colour, DJ Champion, Three Days Grace, The Tragically Hip, k-os, Billy Talent and Gregory Charles.

The Junos were held in Regina in 2013 and were hosted by Michael Bublé. Performers that night were Coachella, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bublé, Serena Ryder, Billy Talent, The Sheepdogs, Hannah Georgas and Classified with David Myles. 

Both Saskatchewan cities did quite well in the performers department.

As I was looking at the list of previous Juno hosts it struck me as being odd — like really odd — that Pamela Anderson hosted the 2006 awards. The had-we-only-known host was Jacob Hoggard in 2015. 

The Junos were first shown on television in 1975. The host that year was Paul Anka.  Susan Jacks, Andy Kim, Diane King, Anne Murray, Anka and The Stampeders performed.

I always thought it was cool that Susan Jacks was born in Saskatoon. She had quite the name back then — Susan Pesklevits. I liked the Poppy Family, a band she formed with her husband Terry Jacks in the 1960s. I remember being disappointed when their marriage ended. Their song, Which Way You Goin’ Billy, reached No. 2 on Billboard in the United States.

The second year of the televised Junos was a bit lean on talent with John Allan Cameron hosting, and Caroll Baker, Dan Hill and Valdy performing. 

Hill, Chilliwack, April Wine, the Raes and Patsy Gallant made the Top 100 list of most-played songs in Canada in 1975. That was an embarrassing year in music, given Debby Boone was No. 1, beating out the likes of the Eagles’ Hotel California and Fleetwood Mac’s Dreaming. 

As an aside, I did see the Boone family perform at the Exhibition grandstand in the early 1970s. They were a wholesome family.  It was kind of like watching the Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver and The Waltons on steroids. 

As I have gotten older, I find I know fewer and fewer of the performers at Junos’ ceremonies. I really took a hit in staying in touch with modern music when my sons started leaving home. 

What I saw and heard last week at the Junos was a whole bunch of talented Canadians. We will see some of them and many more in Saskatoon next March.  

And we can only hope Jim Cuddy will be in town, serving in his role as life of the party.

***** 

My Canadian Football League will always include Canadians in the starting lineups. Reducing the number from seven to five, as has been discussed, is a terrible idea.

Those who say the quality of play would be better with fewer Canadians can watch the NFL, the Arena Football League, the Alliance of Profession Football, college football and the Lingerie Football League. Fill your helmets, people.

I am sure it isn’t always easy — especially with injuries — to ensure there are seven Canadians in the starting lineup. I’m thinking you need something like three O-lineman, a wide receiver, a defensive lineman, a linebacker and the safety to make it happen. 

Here’s hoping the league’s American coaches, American general managers and the Canadian commissioner put on their thinking caps and keep the Canadian in the Canadian Football League.

*****

Congratulations to Kevin Mitchell of the StarPhoenix for his nomination as a finalist for a national newspaper award.  Kevin was nominated in the sports category for his coverage of the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy. 

Kevin handled his coverage with incredible sensitivity. As someone who has known Kevin for more than 20 years — and was one of the two people that had the good sense to hire him — the completeness and tone of his stories was not a surprise. There is no better newspaper writer in Saskatchewan.

It’s Kevin’s third nomination for a national award. I’m betting he will be recognized this year, becoming the only writer at the StarPhoenix to ever win one. 

*****  

The best line I saw on the Burton Cummings noise complaint in Moose Jaw came from Regina Leader-Post columnist Rob Vanstone: “Did he break it to them gently?”