VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The scripts are printed, the set is going up, and a pyramid of Kraft Dinner is in the Barenaked Ladies’ change room. The JUNO Awards are getting ready to hit Vancouver this weekend.
Crates and boxes litter the main floor of the usually frozen arena as crews work to get all the wiring, lights, speakers and stages ready for Sunday’s award show.
“You’ll see an incredible transformation,” Executive producer Lindsay Cox said. “Everything happens very quickly. But Thursday we have everything in and we can see what the show will look like.”
She says it’s taken about a year to put together a plan, including the challenges of having multiple bands on the show that have different equipment requirements on the multi-platform stage.
Up in the bleachers, cardboard signs show the names and photos of the artists who will be performing, while downstairs, band names stick to dressing room doors. However, this year Hedley, the B.C. band that has been on the show five times and even had its lead singer, Jacob Hoggard, host, isn’t among them, or the list of nominees.
The band pulled itself from the show amid sexual misconduct allegations.
“It was very disappointing to hear about those allegations,” JUNO president Allan Reid said. “When we talked to them about it, they wanted to not be a distraction and keep the JUNOS as the honour it is.”
Hedley also withdrew as a nominee in the categories of Fan Choice, Group of the Year and Pop Album of the Year for their 2017 release Cageless.
Reid said despite the “disturbing” allegations, the show had not finished its booking and looked to other Canadian artists to fill the void.
Sunday’s red carpet will shut down the Georgia Viaduct from Friday at 9 p.m. to Monday at 3 a.m.
“My understanding is it’s coming down in the near future, so I think we’re a little bit of a test run for the people of Vancouver to see how they’re going to get around,” Reid said.
Sunday’s JUNOS will also include a tribute to the late Gord Downie and the reunification of the Barenaked Ladies to induct them into the Canadian Hall of Fame.
The show goes Sunday at 5 p.m.