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This article was published 6/2/2018 (1355 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The 2018 Juno Award nominees were announced Tuesday, and a small but mighty crew of Manitoba artists made the cut.
Just six local musical acts found their way to the nomination list, including Fred Penner, who is up for Children's Album of the Year for his record Hear the Music, which features a host of collaborations with some of Canada's most lauded artists, including Ron Sexsmith, Basia Bulat and Alex Cuba, among many others.
"I am thrilled to be nominated. Hear The Music is my first studio album in many years and is all original music with a bevy of amazing Canadian talent, (from) Alex Cuba and Ron Sexsmith to Basia Bulat and the Good Lovelies. Honoured to be in their company," said Penner in an email to the Free Press.
Folk-pop group Indian City picked up a nomination for Indigenous Music Album of the Year for Here & Now, the band's third full-length record on which they address Indigenous concerns and issues that "people are facing today and the path ahead many of the songs suggest is a way that Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can come together in a very inclusive way," frontman Vince Fontaine said in an interview with the Free Press last year.
"I’m very proud and humbled to receive the nomination. Here & Now was not an easy album to write at times. It covered many difficult stories in our community from missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls to residential schools to environmental concerns… it was important to share these issues," Fontaine said in an email Tuesday.
"Every day we still see in the media the struggles of Indigenous people. This album speaks from the heart, is relevant and here to bring awareness to the issues. The message of the album as a whole is very powerful and this nomination means it is being heard. We're very proud," adds band member Jeremy Koz.
Also nominated is Big Dave McLean — he's up for Blues Album of the Year for his album Better The Devil You Know (this is McLean's fourth Juno nomination) — as well at The Color in the Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year category for their album First Day Of My Life.
On the classical end of things, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra is nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble for The Shaman and Arctic Symphony, which they recorded with the Nunavut Sivuniksavut Performers.
Violinist James Ehnes — who's no stranger to Juno nominations — is being recognized in two categories: he joins the WSO in the race for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble for his album Beethoven & Schubert: Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as in the Classical Album: Solo or Chamber category with Andrew Armstrong for the album, Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 6 & 9 'Kreutzer'.
Michael Bublé will host the Juno Awards in Vancouver on March 25. Performers announced Tuesday include R&B songstress Jessie Reyez, two-time Grammy nominated artist Daniel Caesar and B.C. locals, Hedley.
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Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.