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Commentary: Junos have come a long way

Paul Langlois and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip accept the Rock Album of the Year at the Juno Awards dinner in Ottawa on April 1, 2017.
Paul Langlois and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip accept the Rock Album of the Year at the Juno Awards dinner in Ottawa on April 1, 2017. Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Last night we watched Bryan Adams and Russell Peters host the annual celebration of the best in Canadian music at the 46th Juno Awards.

Before the Junos were the Junos, in 1964, a Canadian radio and records industry magazine called RPM began polling its readers to find the best in the country for that year. The results were announced each December in their year-end issue.

The first gala to celebrate the nominees didn’t happen until February of 1970, and was called the Golden Leaf Awards.

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After a contest was held for readers to pick a new name, the awards were named after the first president of the CRTC, Pierre Juneau, who was instrumental in promoting Canadian artists though Canadian-content rules on radio.

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The Junos were first televised in 1975.

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Vancouver was the first city outside of Toronto to host the award show. Hamilton was the second and has hosted the awards six times more than any other city besides Toronto.

We’ve come a long way since The Guess Who, Anne Murray and Gordon Lightfoot had to head to the U.S. for success.