THE 2014 Juno Awards will have a decidedly Manitoba flavour, and not just because the awards will be handed out in Winnipeg on March 29 and 30.
The province's artists garnered 12 nominations over a vast array of different genres for the national music awards.
Among the Manitoban acts nominated include KEN mode, who has been nominated for the metal/hard music album of the year for Entrench. KEN mode won the same Juno in 2012.
Indie pop experimentalists Royal Canoe are going up against Arcade Fire, Rah Rah, The Darcys and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan in the incredibly strong alternative album of the year category. Prog-rockers Mahogany Frog are up for instrumental album of the year for Senna while singer/songwriter Desriee Dorion's Small Town Stories is nominated for aboriginal recording of the year. Little Miss Higgins and the Winnipeg Five got a nod for roots/traditional album of the year. Erin Propp and Larry Roy's Courage My Love is nominated in the vocal jazz album category. Former Winnipegger Earl MacDonald is up for contemporary jazz album of the year. Marie-Claude is up for children's album of the year.
The Junos didn't overlook Manitoba's classical music output either. The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra's collaboration with Grammy-nominated opera singer Isabel Bayrakdarian is nominated for classical album of the year (vocal/choral).
And Brandon-raised violinist James Ehnes, a Juno Award mainstay, has been nominated twice. He's up for classical album of the year: solo or chamber ensemble, for his album Prokofiev Complete Works for Violin. He was also nominated for classical album of the year: large ensembles for Britten & Shostakovich: Violin Concerti, a collaboration with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Arcade Fire leads the pack with six nominations on the strength of its 2013 album Reflektor, including group of the year, songwriter of the year, single of the year, alternative album of the year, album of the year and fan's choice.
Fresh off winning a statue for alternative album of the year at the 2013 Juno Awards in Regina for Harmony, Serena Ryder is up for five more awards this year, including songwriter -- along with co-writer and Manitoban Matt Epp -- single of the year, album of the year, artist of the year and fan choice. Last year's broadcast host, Michael Bublé, also has five nominations (fan choice, single of the year, album of the year, artist of the year and pop album of the year).
Pop darlings Tegan and Sara -- the twins who broke into the Top 40 in a big way with last year's Heartthrob -- earned four nominations, as did Hedley, grand dame Celine Dion and rapper Drake