This past weekend I attended the JUNO Awards as one of their official bloggers. It was such an honour to attend the awards and experience the action first hand. I’ve grown up watching award shows and drooling over the styling, and the glitz and glam of it all. The JUNOS is one of Canada’s biggest award shows, so being there to soak up all the behind the scenes action with a fresh pair of eyes was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!
The weekend was full of events and activities creating so much energy in the city. I attended as many things as humanly possible, before crashing into a coma after Sunday nights show. I probably could’ve written a book on my experience this past weekend, but I thought I would just highlight some stand out moments instead — so here they are:
JUNO FanFare was held at CF Rideau Centre this year, and boy was that an exciting event! The mall was packed with excited fans lining up to see their favourite Canadian artists. Being an official blogger I got the opportunity to snap some photos right at the front from the media pit. Chad Brownlee performed a song for the crowd, and then the artists began flooding out on stage for autograph signings and photo opportunities. Marianas Trench and Ruth B were just some of the amazing artists in attendance.
Getting Glam at SAAB Salon
Can I spend everyday getting ready at SAAB salon!? Seriously though, they have the nicest and most talented staff. On Friday we headed over to the salon for some serious pampering. I got a fresh haircut, a blow out, and styling by Frank, and then I got a fresh shellac manicure in the spa.
The morning of the JUNOS the team at SAAB had us all back for a full out glam session in preparation for the award show. First I had my hair washed and styled into a tousled low ponytail, and then I had my makeup done with Aveda products. I wanted to go for simple neutral makeup, and have my hair pulled back to accentuate the lacey choker on my jumpsuit.
The Stay at Andaz Ottawa
A big thanks to Andaz Ottawa for my accommodations over the JUNOS weekend. This was such a lovely stay-cation, and the perfect location for attending all the JUNO Fest activities. The rooms were so comfortable, extremely modern, and chic with copper accents. We headed up to the rooftop bar for some drinks and an appetizer to catch the sunset with a view. This is definitely one of the best views in the whole city, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
The Red Carpet
Having the opportunity to see all the action of a red carpet in person was such a cool experience. If I had to describe it in one word I would say: busy. There’s tons of photographers, PR people, security, and media. Every second person had a headset and was ushering people through at a quick pace. Once your photo opportunity is done then it’s time to keep on moving. They run on a schedule in order to avoid any congestion or added chaos, because of the amount of talent that comes through for photos and interviews. So I could easily see why they don’t mess around while ushering people through.
After the red carpet we stopped in the Jackson Triggs lounge for some champagne, and hors d’oeurves. This is where everyone goes after they appear on the red carpet for a chance to relax and mingle. There were a lot of musicians and talent stopping through, and even the eTALK Canada crew.
From there we had some time to kill before the show so we headed down to the media space where we were able to take our time to snap more photos at the post-winner carpet. This is the spot where the artists go after they are awarded a JUNO to have their photo taken by the media (white backdrop). This was a lot of fun for us because we got to take our time and get some amazing photos before the show started and before the room became flooded with media, and musicians.
The JUNOS & Behind the Scenes
Before the show started we also got to sit down with JUNOtv and do a live stream with the host, Lana! The set-up was so funky, channeling a 50s vibe with retro furnishings and colours. I loved how laid back it was and we each shared our favourite moments of our JUNOS experience so far.
The show was a ton of fun with some great performances by Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Billy Talent, and so many more. I watched a good chunk of the show but I also really wanted to experience what it was like behind the scenes, so I decided to spend some time downstairs in the media rooms. The artists go downstairs for Q&A time with the media, and post-award photos so this was really cool to see them all roaming the halls and answering questions.
Some of the celebs I got to see up close and personal to answer questions were: Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Ruth B, Marianas Trench, Sarah McLachlan and many more! I snapped a few photos during this time, and Instagram storied it too! We met Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench in the hallway after and he posed for a photo with us — he was such a nice guy and seemed really down to earth.
My overall experience of the JUNOS was amazing. I had such a blast, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of bloggers to share the experience with (Daniel, Karla, Elise, and Chloe). Every detail of the weekend was memorable right down to the brunch with Ottawa Tourism, visiting the TD green room, to catching some live bands at the Lowertown Brewery for JUNO Fest. I tried to snap as many photos as possible throughout the weekend to document the whole experience. This is definitely something I will never forget, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have had this opportunity to experience The JUNOS in Ottawa 🙂