There’s something about awards and parties that just go so well together. Here’s a storyline of the social events and JUNO parties that we attended during Canada’s biggest week in music.
JUNO Awards Welcoming Gala | Sponsored by Music Canada
Our night started off on a high note as we basked in the beautiful architecture at the National Gallery of Canada among the talented JUNO nominees and familiar Canadian faces along the green and red carpets. A few surprises were in store that night, including run-ins with friends from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto who were either directly involved in the music industry or with the JUNOs.
The JUNO Awards Welcome cocktail featured an open bar sponsored by Jackson Triggs – which could have been dangerous, but we made an effort to pace ourselves (can’t say the same for the Olé Playlist Live party that followed, however). The appetizers were delicious and were lucky enough to see a beautiful traditional Aboriginal dance performance. Needless to say, it made for an exciting kick-off to the night – especially considering it was my birthday.
Olé Playlist Live Party Hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos
This one really hit me in the nostalgia. While it took us a little while to find the place (likely of no help thanks to the open bar at the event we had just attended), we arrived right as a band was playing a cover of Nautical Disaster by The Tragically Hip. I immediately felt at home.
From the rustic-industrial-warehouse space to the amazing list of performers, the Olé Playlist Live party was the ’90s revival event that I had been waiting for. Not a bad way to stroll into 35 (and just when I was starting to feel the weight of growing older), George’s party brought me back to my teens and for a couple of hours, I felt like I was attending someone’s house party – less the stress of worrying about homework and how rough class would be in the morning.
While I had not yet met George, his presence was both familiar and comforting. Between the bands and the chill ambiance, this was a night that I will likely never forget (which is hilarious considering how much I drank that night).
While we missed the first set, we managed to catch performances from the following artists – in order of appearance:
Carole Pope & Ben Kowalewicz
Whitehorse, Lindi Ortega
Tasha the Amazon
The Arkells (all I can say is WOW – what a performance)
Jim Cuddy and Kathleen Edwards
Oh, and I eventually (finally!) met George.
The Morning After & Brunch with Ottawa Tourism
After an epic boozy-fueled night, the morning after required food. Good food, at that. Thankfully, we were treated to a brunch at Metropolitain Brasserie and presentation by Ottawa 2017 and Ottawa Tourism. We were in good company among other bloggers and given the inside scoop on the events we can expect in the Nation’s Capital to celebrate 150 years of Canadian awesomeness this summer.
While this event was not directly related to the JUNO’s, it sure was a great opportunity to connect with several other bloggers who were also in town covering JUNO weekend. We were particularly chatty with our table mates, a couple (originally from Montreal, now living in Ottawa) who run the travel blog Entre 2 Escales and fashion blogger Elise (originally a west-coaster, now living in Toronto) who runs A Piece of Elise.
Nothing but good times and a heck of a lot of coffee that morning. Looking forward to coming back and discovering more about Ottawa this summer!