Victoria MP calls for fair Juno treatment

Bid fundraising waiting on signal from new B.C. premier

Denise Savoie

Denise Savoie

When St. John’s hosted the Juno Awards last year, it received federal support, but the same support would not be available to the Capital Region if it is chosen to host the Junos, says Victoria MP Denise Savoie. 

In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, she called for an end to a clause preventing Western Economic Diversification Canada from funding awards and shows. 

The equivalent federal body representing Eastern Canada, called the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, does not have the same restrictions. 

“Cities across Canada should be treated in the same way,” said Savoie.

St. John’s hosted the  event last April. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided two grants  totalling $550,000 to host both the event and to throw live viewing party on the street. 

The change in rules Savoie seeks will “pave the way” for funding, if Victoria’s bid to host the awards is successful.

Last month, the society in charge of Victoria’s bidding process changed its tact. Instead of aiming to host the 2013 Junos, it is now hopes to host the 2014 Junos.

“CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) prefers to work with a host destination for a longer period of time,” said Scott Hoadley, president of the Capital Region Music Awards Society, adding Regina had its bid submitted before the Capital Region decided it wanted to bid. 

“They have requested that we reconsider our bid to be for 2014 and after consulting with our constituents, the provincial government, the federal government, the municipalities, they were all fine (with the change),” said Hoadley.

The next challenge is raising the $1.5 million bid-submission fee.

“This is not a slam dunk,” Hoadley said. 

“The provincial government is in a state of flux, and as one of the key contributors or supporters in this, they are not currently in a position to be making any long-term financial commitments. With the new premier, who knows where the chips are going to land in the next three weeks.” 

Hoadley aims to submit a bid by June. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will begin evaluating bids in September. 

Last Wednesday, Savoie urged her colleagues in the House of Commons to support Victoria’s bid for the Juno Awards.

“One of the things that I found exciting about the bid committee’s plan is their plan for a whole range of activities all the way up and down the Island in the year preceding the Junos,” she said.

“It would be really highlighting the success stories of a lot of home-grown talent.” 

rholmen@vicnews.com