Canadian Music in the Spotlight!

Artists and community celebrate Canadian music in the TD Green Room during 2016 JUNOS!

Published April 14, 2016

The 2016 JUNO Awards recently wrapped, and we’re excited to share a little look back. Over JUNO Weekend (April 1 – 3), TD brought its continued support of Canadian music to the host city of Calgary.

Canadian music and Western hospitality were on full display at the TD Green Room. The unique destination brought together musicians, media and community organizations to celebrate the love of music by hosting artist performances, highlighting a huge range of musical styles.

Friday's performances featured locals including hip-hop artist Transit and singer-songwriter Jacob Vance, alongside fellow Albertans Sydney Mae, an emerging country talent, rockers REND, and fast-rising pop duo The Command Sisters. Montreal-born goalie-turned-star-vocalist Jonathan Roy showed us he can work a room as well as any net. Later, Vancouver indie rockers Derrival – finalists in the inaugural Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class - set the stage for Halifax singer-songwriter Ria Mae, a 2016 JUNO nominee currently making big waves nationally.

Throughout the unusually warm weekend, musicians and other guests enjoyed complimentary refreshments, and took advantage of the TD concierge service providing insider tips about Calgary. Many also received premium make-up and manicures. Everyone in the TD Green Room was made to feel like a V.I.P!

On Saturday morning, the Green Room was electric with energy as we prepared to share big news. For this year and next, TD has doubled its support of the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program. $1,000,000 will be invested to provide musical equipment for non-profit community music programs over the two years, putting more instruments than ever into the hands of young Canadians.

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There to help us share the news were musicians Kevin Drew, a driving force behind the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, and Kardinal Offishall, who is both a successful rapper and music industry executive, always on the lookout for new talent. He spotted just that in the crew from The Freed Artist Society’s ReFreshed initiative, a Calgary-based urban arts and hip-hop program with the goal of bettering the lives of youth and their communities at its core.

Kardinal surprised the group with the news that The Freed Artists Society would receive $20,000 worth of music gear for their program. He also gave a heartfelt and inspirational speech, relaying his own experience of growing up in challenging circumstances, and rising up through music. The attentive audience heard the message, and the ReFreshed crew reciprocated by kicking off a cypher on-stage. Kardi watched and smiled from the sidelines as the youth freestyled on the mic and broke out b-boy moves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Throughout the day, so many great artists took to the stage. Albertan artists like Ann Vriend, Melody Lovejoy, Rebecca Lappa, The Doll Sisters and all-female country band Nice Horse performed roots music of many shades. Vancouver hip-hop and alternative artist SonReal rapped and sang while 2016 JUNO nominee DRU got the room pumping with his funk-infused R&B, and fellow nominees The Elwins rocked their famously melodic riffs and infectious hooks.                                                                       

As the TD Green Room called it a wrap for the day, Calgary came alive for the night as JUNO events and excitement took over the city for the rest of the weekend. TD is pleased to have been a part of it all. With almost half of 2016’s JUNO Award nominations going to first-time nominees, it’s obvious that Canada is experiencing a burgeoning era of musical creativity. It’s an exciting time to help put more instruments into the hands of young Canadians!