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Arcade Fire, Michael Bublé among Juno front-runners

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JUNO AWARD NOMINEES

Arcade Fire, Michael Bublé, Serena Ryder and Tegan and Sara lead the nominations at the 2014 Juno Awards.

All 177 nominees — including 80 first-time nominees — in 40 categories were announced at a press conference in Toronto this morning. The bulk of the awards will be handed out at a Saturday night industry-only gala on March 29 in Winnipeg. The rest will be presented during the 2014 Juno Awards telecast, airing Sunday, March 30 from MTS Centre on CTV. Ryder, Tegan and Sara, Walk Off The Earth and City & Colour were confirmed as performers. Tickets go on sale Feb. 14.

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, Ryder is up for five more awards this year, including songwriter, 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, (single of the year, group of the year, songwriter of the year, pop album of the year). Pop rockers Hedley, grand dame Celine Dion and rapper Drake also picked up four nominations apiece.

Robin Thicke and Walk Off The Earth, meanwhile, are triple nominees. (Thicke qualifies for the Junos because he has Canadian citizenship via his dad, actor Alan Thicke.)

Many Manitoba acts have the chance to be honoured with hardware in their hometown. KEN mode, who won in the inaugural metal/hard music album of the year category in 2012, is nominated in that category again for Entrench. 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, while Marie-Claude is up for children’s album of the year. The Manitoba Chamber Orchesta’s collaboration with Grammy nominated opera singer Isabel Bayrakdarian is nominated for classical album of the year (vocal/choral).

Recent Juno winners Monster Truck will face off against CanRock stalwarts Headstones, Matt Mays, Matthew Good and Three Days Grace for rock album of the year, while Drake, Rich Kidd, Classified, Shad and SonReal will vie for rap recording of the year.

A Tribe Called Red, Autumn Hill, Born Ruffians, Courage My Love and July Talk are all up for breakthrough group of the year. Breakthrough artist nominees include Florence K, Tim Hicks, Tyler Shaw, Wake Owl, Brett Kissel — who is also up for country album of the year alongside Dean Brody, Gord Bamford, Small Town Pistols and Tim Hicks.

A.C. Newman, Basia Bulat, The Sadies, Hayden and Ron Sexsmith make up a strong adult alternative album of the year category. Roots/traditional solo is also a category to watch, with Lindi Ortega, Justin Rutledge, David Francey, Donovan Woods and The Trilliums.

Visit junoawards.ca for the full list of nominees.

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Updated on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:19 PM CST: Corrects misspelled word.

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