As many of you know from my recent posts, I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 JUNO Awards! From the moment that I found out that I was going, I was beaming with excitement. This was my first time attending an awards show of this scale, and I still feel so honoured to have been chosen to attend.
Most of us know the JUNOS as an awards show that honours incredibly talented Canadian artists. Unless the JUNOS are taking place in your own city, you probably wouldn't realize just how many events and happenings are involved. The JUNOS consist of so much more than just the awards show, the events take place over an entire week, with the host city featuring an abundance of related activities. Some of the highlights were; the celebrity hockey tournament, JUNOFEST, the JUNO Awards Gala and dinner the night before the show, and live music every night throughout the city. Over time the JUNO Awards have evolved from an industry event to a week long jam-packed schedule of fun activities, this year taking place in our nation's capital- Ottawa! It was a great opportunity for the city to show off some of the best offerings, while incorporating some local flare and culture.
The trip started early Friday morning at the VIA Rail station in downtown Toronto, where our group and other media outlets (including artists) were anxiously waiting to board the JUNO Express. The JUNO Express was created by VIA Rail (a sponsor of the show) as a super fun and convenient way to get people excited for the JUNOS and more importantly, help everyone get there! When the non-stop party train arrived in Ottawa, the red carpet was rolled out and a huge group of people (including the mayor) welcomed everyone.
Next was a transfer to the hotel, where we checked into the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, right next to Parliament Hill. This hotel is absolutely stunning and I couldn't help but picture getting married there every time I passed a spiral marble staircase. The details were incredible, with gold accents, engraved metals, I even saw someone polishing a brass figure as if part of a daily routine. No detail had been overlooked, I can't even imagine the work that went into building the property back in 1912. It really is a castle with the most beautiful views, over the top service, and people eager to please to ensure the best stay in the capital.
After a quick check-in we headed over to the beautiful, Saab Salon and Spa on Bank street, the official salon partner of the 2017 JUNOS. A big salon with a modern-Ottawa feel (exposed brick? yes!) We were treated to first-class service by the salon owner Nina, and her incredible family and staff. They took care of our every need, anything from cuts, colour, nails, you name it- they made it happen! Our cozy salon and spa experience included warm coffee and tea, treats, and super nice gift bags featuring Aveda products. After the salon visit we participated in some of pre-JUNOS festivities around the city!
Fast-forward to Sunday, the day of the JUNO awards show. We woke up and were courteously taken to Saab Salon and Spa once again for early morning hair and makeup. After the most luxurious in treatments we headed back to the hotel to get ready. I was very kindly dressed by a variety of incredible Canadian designers, and for the red carpet I decided to wear a champagne sweetheart gown designed by Montreal brand Le Chateau, a company that has become one of my absolute favourites over the years.
Upon arriving to the JUNOs we were ushered in by security to the red carpet where loads of photographers were standing nearby waiting. The red-carpet walk happened fast but it was SO cool (I'm still trying to track down photos)! As we stepped off the carpet we were then handed champagne to celebrate in the Jackson Triggs lounge. We then did interviews, and had dinner. Next we were escorted to our box where we had a great view of the entire show, and power-outlets to keep all the tech at the ready for celebrity sightings!!!
We were able to see many celebrities after they claimed their awards. They were sent to the press room, where they answered questions for approximately 30 news outlets. During the interviews, when I was asked who I was most excited to see, I never would have guessed I'd actually get to meet the stars that I had mentioned: HELLO- Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, and Ruth B!
To see my full experience, click on the link below! Special thank you to all of the sponsors who made this show happen, and to Rock-It Promotions for bringing me along for this experience of a lifetime!