Although my musical knowledge is mostly limited to ’80s dance tunes and children’s songs, like many Winnipeggers I jumped at the chance of being a part of the Slaight Music 2014 Juno Volunteer Program. I thought it would be a great way to start building up my volunteer experience while at the same time having fun and meeting some great people. It was certainly all that, and much more.
The weekend prior to the start of all the Juno festivities, I attended a volunteer orientation session. I had no idea what to expect and was therefore more than a little nervous but was quickly and pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to find out that I was not the only middle-aged person in the room. In fact, men and women of all ages and backgrounds were there, giving testament to just how diverse a volunteer base an event like the Junos attracts.
On the night of the televised Juno Awards show, which were held at the MTS Centre on March 30, I signed up for a shift as a red carpet talent assistant, a position that sounded sufficiently glamorous that I used it as an excuse to treat myself to a haircut and manicure the day before. As it turned out, this job mostly entailed escorting VIPs who braved a brutal wind to walk from their hotel to the MTS Centre, to the heated, tented area that contained the actual ‘red carpet.’
I am thankful for the experience, as I learned that despite the unseasonably cold weather, everyone praised the warm hospitality of our city. I was certainly proud to be a Winnipegger!
Although there were lots of memorable moments to choose from, I’d have to say that the highlight of my Juno experience came during the We Speak Music JunoAwards after-party, which was held across the street from the MTS Centre at Manitoba House (aka the Metropolitan Event Centre).
My musical knowledge may be fairly limited, but I was thrilled to meet one of Winnipeg’s own musical royalty — children’s entertainer Fred Penner, who graciously took the time to pose for a photograph with each of the ladies at my table.
And I sang The Cat Came Back all the way home. What an awesome night!
Heather Tiede is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org