If you tuned in to the 2014 Juno Awards and managed to somehow forget that the purpose of the show is to honour the best in Canadian music over the past year, it definitely wouldn’t have taken you too long to clue in. The 2014 Junos was a clearly Canadian affair in a non-flavoured-sparkling-water sort of way (though we hear the bubbly stuff is making a comeback). Several moments stood out at this year’s fete that would never, ever happen on any of those American or European awards shows. Here are the Top 9 moments from the 2014 Juno Awards that made them undoubtedly Canadian, eh!
1. Tegan, Sara and Serena Ryder complain about the cold…in song!
Only on Canada’s music awards show would you ever see two of the country’s biggest acts joining forces to sing about their passionate disdain for the horror that was this winter. The three ladies started an all-girl supergroup backstage and rewrote the lyrics to their hit singles “Closer” and “What I Wouldn’t Do” to complain about the brutal cold. It sure warmed our hearts.
2. The Sheepdogs trade their guitars for brooms
The burly lumberjacks of The Sheepdogs are about as Canadian-looking as you can get, but the Saskatoon rockers took it one step further last night. The scruffy prairie rockers got their curl on against the Canadian women’s gold medal team in an homage to the Canadian classic Men with Brooms. Alas, they didn’t win, but we award them full points for team spirit.
3. Classified gives props to Enfield, Nova Scotia–wait, where?
File this one under things you’ll never see at the Grammys: Rapper (and co-host) Classified was repping hard for the people of his native Enfield–a town of a mere 5,000 people–by rocking a cap with ENFIELD sewn across the front of it for most of the show.
4. Chris Hadfield proves his covers are just as endearing on earth
Everyone’s favourite astronaut held his own on stage amongst Canada’s favourite musicians. Former space station commander and social-media legend Chris Hadfield received the warmest welcome of the 2014 Juno Awards with a standing ovation from the Winnipeg audience when he introduced (and sang) Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
5. Canada takes care of business, literally
We Canadians love us some Bachman-Turner Overdrive and we’re not afraid to show it. At least not at the Junos. A veritable who’s who of Canadian rockers–The Sheepdogs, Matt Mays, Jim Cuddy, The Sadies–took the stage to perform the BTO classic “Taking Care of Business,” and then–be still our classic-rock-loving hearts–the BTO boys themselves joined in. Only in Winnipeg.
6. Even more curling, courtesy of Johnny Reid and the women’s curling team
The curling didn’t end with The Sheepdogs on-ice antics. At one point, co-host Johnny Reid was actually curled onto stage by the Canadian women’s curling team, notably whilst enjoying a glass of whiskey. Canadian much? Hurry hard, Johnny!
7. Canada loves on Bieber, then hates on Bieber
The Biebs is making it hard to love him these days, and our national indecision over what to do with the boy was apparent throughout the show. When the
former pride of Stratford, Ont., received the Juno Fan Choice Award (in spirit, dude, of course, wasn’t actually there) for the fourth straight year, the crowd responded with boos. But co-host Serena Ryder wasn’t having any of it: The Songwriter of the Year stuck up for the li’l guy during her acceptance speech: “Bieber is an amazing musician and he deserves every bit of that award. We need to support how awesome he is.” Your serve, Bieber.
8. Arcade Fire appear without appearing
Arguably one of Canada’s biggest exports, Arcade Fire still remember where they come from. Even though they weren’t able to attend (they’re in Chile for Lollapalooza), they still managed to perform, accept their award for Album of the Year and send a special thank-you message from the other side of the world–with a little help from puppet heads and satellites. We’ll take it.
9. Tegan and Sara show their love of country
And finally, you’ll never see an American or European award show where the artists who win will make their victory speech all about their country and not their management group and industry partners. When Tegan and Sara won the Juno for Group of the Year, they thanked Canada: “This award isn’t about the very important people we’re sitting with — our parents, our managers. This is about you: Canada has been supporting us since the ’90s.” Aw, shucks. You’re very, very welcome.