After a year like no other, Canada’s music industry is ready to celebrate our country’s rich and diverse music history.
Last week, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced the nominees for the 50th Annual JUNO Awards with Western alumni and faculty represented in three categories:
Loud Luxury – The alumni duo of Joe Depace, BA’14 (Popular Music Studies) and Andrew Fedyk, BA’15 (Political Science) are nominated for Group of the Year. Depace and Fedyk met at Western, and shot to fame in 2018 with their award-winning EDM hit “Body.” This is the group’s eighth Juno nomination, and third nomination in a row for Group of the Year, after winning their first two awards in 2019 when London hosted the Junos.
Basia Bulat, BA’06 (English), is nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year with her fifth album Are you in love? This is the third album nomination for Bulat, and the singer/songwriter’s fourth nomination overall. After shows were cancelled in 2020, Bulat has her “fingers crossed” touring can re-commence in late summer, with dates planned in the UK and across Europe.
Ensemble Made In Canada (EMIC) chamber group, including ensemble co-founders and Western faculty members Sharon Wei, viola, BMus’00 (Performance), and Angela Park, piano, earned a nomination for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber with Mosaïque. The album, recognized by CBC Music as “one of 10 classical albums to get excited about” last year, features a newly commissioned suite of piano quartets by 14 Canadian composers, each inspired by a particular region of Canada.
Park and Wei met during their first week as undergraduate students at Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music. Park went on to complete her degree at the University of Toronto, and recently returned to Western as a piano faculty member.
The ambitious, multifaceted Mosaïque Project was launched in 2018, and EMIC completed their cross-country tour in Vancouver on January 31, 2020, just before the pandemic changed everyone’s plans. The tour included performances and workshops at Western and an immersive livestream concert.
“Western supported many elements of this Project, including the live stream, and we are so grateful. Having the recorded live stream meant that our educational workshops could continue virtually throughout the pandemic,” says Wei.
“The Project was the largest undertaking the ensemble has ever done. We are all honoured to have it recognized, and we feel lucky to have had the opportunity to connect with many communities across Canada.” The group has been Ensemble-in-Residence at Western since 2014.
The 50th Annual Juno Awards will be broadcast nationwide to an at-home only audience on Sunday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and globally on CBCMusic.ca/junos.