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Winners of 2020 Juno Awards to be revealed in virtual ceremony

The Juno Awards are headed online this year as COVID-19 forces the celebration of Canadian music to take a more subdued approach.

Several months after Juno organizers pulled the plug on festivities that were set for Saskatoon, they’ve announced June 29 as the night trophies will be handed out in all 42 categories.

It’s a significant change from the usual awards proceedings, which are stretched out over two nights and culminate in a broadcast TV event stacked with live performances from homegrown talent and winners in the top categories.

The virtual presentation will include some of that entertainment, but on a much smaller scale.

Signs announcing the cancellation of the Juno Awards on March 12, 2020. (Matt Smith/The Canadian Press)

A few nominees will perform, including Indigenous singer IsKwé, alt-pop duo Neon Dreams, and bluegrass band the Dead South.

And among the presenters are Toronto Raptors’ Chris Boucher, Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard, two-time Juno winner Jessie Reyez and pianist Alexandra Stréliski, who’s up for three Junos this year.

The winners, however, won’t get their moment of glory in quite the same way.

In lieu of live acceptance speeches, a representative for the Junos says they hope winners consider submitting an acceptance speech that can be posted on the Junos social media channels after the event.

Awards shows have been forced to make significant changes in recent months as provincial health agencies discouraged large gatherings. The Junos were the first major Canadian awards forced to cancel their event during the pandemic, in a March decision that was so last-minute many artists had already arrived to Saskatoon expecting the show would go ahead.

Originally, pop singer Alessia Cara was booked as Junos host, but she isn’t mentioned as a participant on the webcast. She’s still leading the nominees with six nods in categories that include pop album, artist of the year and single of the year.

Rapper Tory Lanez trails closely behind Cara with five nominations, while Stréliski, Bryan Adams,  Bülow , Nav, Loud Luxury and Shawn Mendes, have three each.

Several of the original Junos performances have been dashed from the schedule too, including a collaboration between Stréliski and City and Colour’s Dallas Green.

The Juno Awards online presentation will take place on June 29 at 7 p.m. ET.

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