It begins with a rehearsal, continues with a hockey game, and ends by headlining the Juno Side Stage. The country singer-songwriter duo, The Reklaws, say Friday will be “the most Canadian day they’ve ever lived.”
On top of that, the Cambridge-raised sibling band will top off a jam-packed weekend by performing as the only country act at the Juno Awards Show on Sunday at Budweiser Gardens, and may even take home an award for their EP, Feels Like That, which is nominated for 2019 Country Album of the Year.
So, how do you handle such a busy schedule? Speaking with Matt Weaver from 980 CFPL’s sister station, Country 104, Stuart Walker says you take it one step at a time.
“They’re really giving you the full Canadian experience at the Junos. It’s exciting, it’s amazing,” he said.
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“We’re waking up, rehearsing for the Juno’s [Friday] morning, we’re going to soundcheck, then we’re going to the hockey game with Jim Cuddy and stuff, and then we’re headlining the Side Stage Tent.”
The Juno Cup, a celebrity fundraiser hockey game that also includes Classified, members of Born Ruffians, former NHLers Doug Gilmour, Gary Roberts, and Olympic medalists Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse, is raising money for MusiCounts.
Walker’s sister, Jenna, said they’ll have to transition quickly from hockey gear into concert attire.
“We’re playing one period of the hockey game, undressing, getting dressed, and going on the stage to headline the tent,” she laughed. “I better not get a zit!”
The pair are looking forward to playing before a crowd of Canadian music fans, and say they enjoy the challenge of winning over a crowd.
“Hopefully, they stand there with their arms crossed like, ‘I’m not going to like these people because I’m not a country fan.’ If we can get them to uncross their arms and clap by the end of the show, our job is done,” said Stuart Walker.
Jessica Moskaluke and The Washboard Union will be joining the Reklaws on the Juno Side Stage, which becomes an all-ages venue on Saturday and Sunday. KILLY, 88GLAM & Anders perform in the heated tent in Budweiser Garden’s south parking lot on Saturday, before it transforms Sunday into a spot for a red carpet viewing party, an awards show viewing party, and finally, an after-party.
Chris Campbell, the chair of the Junos host committee, is urging families and fans to attend the red carpet viewing party — which is free to the public.
“That’s something that hasn’t been done before, on this scale. Where you have this massive tent, and they’re allowing everyone to come and watch,” he said.
More than 100 artists are performing at more than 15 venues across the city — some public, some private — as part of Juno Fest on Friday and Saturday.
Other noteworthy events include a comedy show at the London Music Hall on Friday, a kids show dubbed “Just For The Little Ones” on Saturday, and the Juno Songwriters Circle on Sunday. You can find ticket information and a full list of events here.
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