As you may have heard, The 45th annual JUNO awards are coming to Calgary at the end of March. It’s all apart of Calgary’s Year of Music celebration. I’ve actually been to a few JUNOs and I find that so many people tend to think that the JUNOs are simply just the big awards show, and really, nothing could be further from the truth.

Even though we’re still a few weeks away, The JUNO celebrations are already in full swing, with many more fantastic events yet to come!  What I love the most is that they are all affordable and open to everyone.

And with the JUNO Awards almost sold out, you might be looking for different ways to take part in the celebration. Here are some of my favourites!

Listening to Our City

Monday, March 14, 2016
7:30 PM
Bella Concert Hall
$26 (Tickets)

This is a MusicCounts fundraiser, which is Canada’s music education charity. and will showcase hundreds of talented young Calgarians!

Nearly 500 youth will perform at the evening of music, dance and conversation, proudly presented by the 2016 JUNO Host Committee. Performances span disciplines and genres, with First Nations dancers, school ensembles, and a keynote presentation by Calgary’s own Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.


JUNO Cup Jam

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Thursday, March 31st 
Flames Central
$25 (Tickets)

If musical collaborations and covers are you jam, then this might be the event for you!  The Juno Cup Jam is another fantastic fundraiser for MusiCounts and will feature a slew of huge Canadian artists in a concert experience you’re not sure to forget! So far performers announced include Brett Kissel, Chad Brownlee, Cosmo Ferraro, Del Barber, Devin Cuddy, Eagle & Hawk, Fortunate Ones, Gord Bamford, Jonathan Roy, Kevin Parent, Matt Masters, Paul Aucoin, Rich Aucoin, Scott Henderson (Souls in Rhythm), Shawn Hook, Beard Guy (Walk Off the Earth) and Whitehorse. All that for $25?  I’m not sure how you can pass it up! Need a little more convincing? If you have a JUNOFest wristband, you can use it early here. More on JUNOFest below!

JUNOfest Indigenous Showcase

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March 31st
Grey Eagle Resort and Casino
$29.50-$39.50 (Tickets)

Celebrate the JUNOs with one of Canada’s most legendary performers. Buffy Saint-Marie is headlining the JUNOFest Indigenous Showcase and will bring together the talents of all five JUNO-nominated Aboriginal Album of the Year artists for this one-night-only event. Alongside Saint-Marie, the Indigenous showcase, presented by Calgary’s 2016 JUNO host committee: OutLoudYYC, will highlight the musical talents of Alberta artists; Cris Derksen and Armond Duck Chief, Manitoba artist; Don Amero, Ontario artist; Derek Miller and Quebec’s Black Bear.


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April 1st and April 2nd
Various Venues
$30. (Tickets)

No joke! For two days, this one wristband will get you a whole lot of music!  On April 1st and 2nd, Calgary will basically become a giant concert venue, as JUNOFest takes over and offers up more than 100 bands, spread across 15 different venues.  It’s a festival like you’ve never seen before and it’s only $30!  What’s great is that the wristbands offer priority entry to all venues, although they are subject to capacity. But with so many venues and so many concerts, there’s more than enough to enough!  So how will you get around to all these venues? Great news: The Ride the Music Mile bus between Inglewood and Downtown is free with a JUNOfest wristband. The Bass Bus brings the party every 20 minutes stopping at 1309 – 9th ave SE (parking lot, east of Ironwood) and 803 – 1st SW (The Bay downtown, east side).



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Friday, April 1st
Max Bell Arena
$20 (Tickets)

Where else can you see Jim Cuddy and Gord Bamford take on NHL great likes Troy Crowder and Mark Napier. No where else, that what makes JUNOCup so much fun!  Tickets are only $20 and helps support MusiCounts! Other NHL greats playing include Curtis Glencross (Calgary Flames), Perry Berezan (Calgary Flames), Ron Sutter (Calgary Flames), Jamie Macoun (Calgary Flames) and Brad Dalgarno (New York Islanders).



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Saturday, April 2nd
Chinook Centre
FREE (must Pre-register)

If you’re looking to get up close and personal with some of the brightest stars in Canada, Juno Fan Fare is it! The day before The JUNO Awards, Alessia Cara, Autumn Hill, Brett Kissel, Chad Brownlee, Dean Brody, Dear Rouge, Francesco Yates, George Canyon, Marianas Trench, Ria Mae, Scott Helman, Shawn Hook and Walk off the Earth, will descend upon Chinook Centre for one of the most popular events of JUNO week. This is a free event, but fans should definitely pre-register for either one of the two autograph sessions, which are available on a first come, first serve basis! JUNO Fan Fare will also feature live performances and prize giveaways!

Mike Morrison