The 2020 Juno Awards presented a huge opportunity for Saskatoon band Too Soon Monsoon.
The performers had shows lined up as part Juno Week, hoping to make some new fans and build on two EPs and a record. The festivities were called off the same day as Saskatchewan announced its first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus.
“I’d say it’s like our biggest festival slot for sure. There’s so many eyes and industry folk out in the city, or would’ve been out in the city this week,” Too Soon Monsoon vocalist Greg Orre said.
At the same time, band members felt like it was the right decision.
“This being cancelled, I can take the good out of that. It’s kind of showing safety to our community,” Too Soon Monsoon drummer Nathan Henry said.
Some nominees caught word before travelling to Saskatoon — a city that expected $9 million in economic activity.
Jay Douglas, nominated for Reggae Recording of the Year, was en route to Saskatoon from Toronto with his manager.
“He woke me up on the flight and he showed me something on his laptop and it said ‘cancelled,’” Douglas said.
Contemporary Roots Album nominee Justin Rutledge found out about the cancellation after the wheels hit the ground in Saskatoon.
“I just found out eight minutes ago, so I’m still trying to process it,” Rutledge said in the arrivals area of the Saskatoon airport.
Rebecca Alley-Wilson came to Saskatoon as a fan, but also because her daughter, Kalista Wilson, is a member of Juno-nominated Girl Pow-R.
“We’re going to make the best of it,” Alley-Wilson said.
Junos organizers have said they will find a way to appropriately honour all the nominees and special award recipients.
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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.
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