awards

2013 JUNO Awards… an experience!

What a weekend! I am going to attempt to write about my JUNO experience in order to process the events in my head. So here goes…

After a few months of prep which mainly revolved around what I was going to wear (helped by the kids from a local elementary school) I was all packed into a medium sized suitcase (impressive) and ready to go.

But the gods of planes trains and automobiles were not shining on us as the fog descended on the Comox Valley and no plane could land therefore we couldn’t get out. Panic set in as I had a gig early the next morning and it isn’t good form to miss a JUNO gig. Eventually they bussed us to the next town where, fortunately, the fog had lifted and we were off in time to get our connecting flight to Regina.

Everyone told me that Regina was cold but I wasn’t expecting the kind cold that takes your breath away (and a few digits if you stay outside long enough).

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Friday night was the first of the events,a green carpet walk and a drinks reception with a particularly lovely martini bar and wonderful snacky things wandering around us carried by incredibly lovely police cadets. Here I met two of the other nominees in my category, Jennifer Gasoi and Marlowe Stone from Marlowe and the Mix. I immediately liked both of them. We had already been in contact to sing on each others songs at the gig the next morning. We are a very friendly category 🙂

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On the way back to the hotel Trevor, my husband and date for the weekend, insisted we get sushi. I wasn’t hungry so just went to watch him eat. In an interview with Jo-Ann Roberts of CBC’s All Points West earlier that day she asked me who I would like to meet most and I said Jian Ghomeshi from CBC’s Q. I have sent him my music previously (along with chocolatey bribes) in the hopes of getting noticed by one of Canada’s largest music taste-makers.

As we approach the sushi restaurant who should be waiting to be seated but Jian himself. I walked in and introduced myself and was thrilled that he said “oh, you sent me your album and you’re up for kid’s music award aren’t you”. He remembered me… so the chocolates must have worked! Anyway, he was very lovely and we had a quick chat and went our separate ways to eat.

There were shuttles put on to takes us anywhere we wanted to go, which we were SO grateful for given the minus temperatures and Saturday early morning was no exception as we headed to the Children’s Category nominee gig at the Regina Public Library. All the JUNO staff were so friendly and welcoming and we had a wonderful SOLD OUT show packed with kids and their parents.

I met another nominee, Emilie Mover and we all sang on each others songs and played a song together at the end. Even though all our style were SO different I think we sounded really good together and it was so much fun.

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Saturday afternoon the nerves started kicking in. What if I won? I hadn’t really thought of a speech but had considered who I would thank. What if I didn’t win? Would I cry? So instead I had a nap… the answer to everything 🙂

I chose a little black lacy number for the Gala dinner where many of the awards were being presented, including my category. There was another green carpet (I must google the meaning of green vs red carpet) where the press were gathered so I got to strut my stuff in front of them.

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There were more martinis and pics and then dinner. We were sitting with other nominees including a jazz and a classical musician and we were all sitting upright, hopeful. There were various performances by Colin James, Donny Parenteau (cool fiddler) and the Four Tenors along with a local choir. These were interspersed with awards and hosting by Jian Ghomeshi of the afore-mentioned sushi restaurant encounter.

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We were rooting for each other at the table while trying to eat steaks the size of my head. How do you eat honking great piece of meat while preparing yourself for elation or disappointment? The first on our table didn’t win and the second and the third. There was only me left as the expectant shoulders had gone from upright to slumped.

My award came up and it was a thrill to see my face up on the big screen and my music playing, but before I knew it they were announcing Emilie Mover’s name and my shoulders also slumped.

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But only for a few minutes. Emilie’s album is excellent and she is such a sweet, sweet person so I was really happy for her. It was also nice to have the technology handy to text my friends and get all the feedback that good friends are there for. And after putting it on FB my community in the Comox Valley posted reams of comments that made me feel so loved that I didn’t care that I hadn’t won.

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Sunday was a lazy day of avoiding the biting cold and watching TV and eating the remains of the best sandwich ever. The previous day we had gone into a local deli and when they found out I was a nominee they insisted on having a picture with me and giving us cannoli. It was the best sandwich ever. If you are ever in Regina you must go to family run The Italian Star Deli.

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So red carpet time was upon us and, as I hadn’t won, I decided to stop playing it safe, ditch little black dress #3 and wear a very colourful dress that had been sent to my by Karina a wonderful dress boutique in Brooklyn NY (long story). And I am so glad I did.

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Walking the red carpet was a weird and wonderful experience. It’s all very official with lots of security. You stand in front of a a whole bunch of photographers trying to remember what they do in America’s Next Top Model. It was fun and I played around a bit. You then have to walk the rest of the red carpet with screaming fans who are not sure who they are screaming for until someone like Michael Buble arrives and the screams go to a painful level.

One of my favourite parts (because I am getting older and a little vain) was when an official with a headset ask me who I was and I said I was a nominee. She look at me and said “gosh you don’t look old enough to be a nominee”. Now I am not sure how old ‘not old enough’ is but I’ll take it! 🙂

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Another reception, more alcohol, more meats on sticks and more chatting to fellow nominees and we were heading to the arena for the live televised show. It was a great, well organized show with the highlight, obviously, being KD Lang’s induction into the hall of fame. What a speech an what a voice. I will always remember the ‘inner quirkmeister’ part 🙂

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So more shuttles, which, by the way, is a great way to meet new people, more drinks, more food and we were done. My first JUNO experience.

I have to give a huge shout out to my wonderful date for the weekend, my husband of nearly 21 years, for being patient, gracious and sociable, all the qualities anyone could ever ask for on a weekend such as this. And had I won I would have thanked him, my wonderful children and the community of the Comox Valley. Hopefully I will get the opportunity another time. 🙂

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An Unexpected Day

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Two weeks ago I got an email asking me for ‘media’ for the Juno Awards but clearly stating ‘this is NOT a confirmation of a nomination’.

I had submitted albums to the Junos many times and had never been asked for anything… as I expected it would go.

So when I was asked for media I was confused. Did this mean I had a shot? How was I going to be able stand the next 2 weeks of a mixture of excitement and dread. Alcohol helped.

So Tuesday 19th February rolls around and my husband found out that they announce the nominees 7:30am our time… which was good because there was no way I was going to able to sleep in… plus I had to get kids and feed them before school etc.

So we’re watching all the big award nominee announcements and the promos and finally we get to the jazz, classical and then before we know if the Children’s Album of the Year Category has come and gone. Did I really see my album cover flash up on the screen? I have to check with Trevor several time before jumping up and down like a crazy person.

My daughter heard my squeals and thought it was her little brother being annoying… but no… it was just me being a little over excited. Then it occurred to me. I am a Juno Nominee. It doesn’t matter if I win. I am a Juno Nominee. I can forever put that on my publicity. Yay!

When I started pursuing this musical career thing seriously, less than 5 years ago, a Juno was about as likely as an Oscar… and if you have ever seen me act you will understand. So I wondered, how on earth did I end up here.I wonder that a lot… all the time.

On the one hand, I work hard and love what I do and push hard to get it. On the other hand… it’s a JUNO NOMINATION!!!

I am just going to enjoy this moment and on Monday I can start worrying about what I am going to wear!

LA Take 2 – Day 15 – Red Carpet

This was my last day in LA and although I am little sad to leave I am so excited about getting home to my family.

I spent the morning having brunch with my publisher’s wife and cute little boy, which was lovely. And then back to the hotel to pack. I am not a tidy person so it took some time to gather everything up and cram it into a suitcase that seemed more than big enough when I left 2 weeks ago.

Packing was courtesy of the following chocolate…

So it seem that choosing a dress for an awards show with a red carpet is not as easy and carefree as it sounds… no really. I hd a choice of three and went with the white dress but, as were going out for mexican beforehand… I was smart enough to take one of the black ones with me… just in case there was a salsa disaster.

The evening was a great success… mexican food and many margaritas followed by a quick red carpet followed by en early win of Best Alternative Female. So Cool!

Then we headed back to a mexican favourite, El Carmen, for more tequilas and food. I had the best time and will really miss these guys.

and the winner is…

Last week at the Vancouver Island Music Awards I got live out a life long fantasy. But I’ll get to that in moment.

After being nominated in 5 categories I was really hoping to get one of the awards and the award that I most wanted to get was for songwriter. After all, that is what I do all day, every day.

The night of the awards came and after several outfit changes I was ready in my pretty skirt and big boots. I love my big boots. Not everybody does but I don’t care.

The evening had some wonderful performances, one of my favourite being from my friend Emily Spiller, who I fully expect to go on to do amazing things and forget who I am.

The award for Female Songwriter came up early-ish in the evening and I was absolutely delighted to receive it. I even gave a pretty coherent acceptance speech.

Emily, who was also nominated for 5 awards and fellow Courtenay dweller, was awarded Female Vocalist which she SO deserved!

So that was it. I was happy with my award, really enjoyed watching others receive theirs and had so much fun singing my song with my daughter on backing vocals and whistling.

An added bonus was getting to sing on Todd Butler’s Home song… a very moving song about making Vancouver Island home.

Then came the last award for Artist of the Year. There were 10 of us nominated for this so I just sat back expecting to clap for the winner. When they said my name I couldn’t believe it and this is where I got to fulfill my fantasy.

Whenever I watch awards shows I love it when the winner kisses their partner and then goes and thanks them in their speech. So when I heard my name I looked at my husband of 19 years, kissed him and then went up, received my award, mumbled some stuff that I can’t remember as I was in shock, and then thanked Trevor. What I said was true. I couldn’t do what I do without him.

I want to take this opportunity again to thank James Kasper and his team for making these awards happen and to all who ‘like’ me, follow me and listen to me. I am always grateful.