The 2023 Juno Awards officially kicked off Saturday night in Edmonton, Alta. with the Opening Night Awards, and a few British Columbia artists picked up some hardware.
Horsefly, B.C. duo Pharis & Jason Romero won their fourth Juno, taking home the Traditional Roots Album of the Year Award for their album Tell ’Em You Were Gold.
They also won the 2021 Traditional Roots Album of the Year Award for Bet On Love. In 2019 they won for their album, Sweet Old Religion and in 2016, they won for A Wanderer I’ll Stay.
“It’s actually the first time we ever had a chance to be (at the Junos) in person,” said Pharis. “The first one, we had just had a child. The second one we were building our house and the third one was during COVID, so this has been a great experience.”
Chilliwack’s Jamison Isaak, a.k.a. Teen Dążę, won the Electronic Album of the Year, for Interior. It was his 10th album and first Juno nomination.
Isaak said the award is somewhat of a validation for him.
“Yes, I suppose it is, not just for me but for validating all these people around here who have been supporting me,” he said. “So yeah, getting to experience the joy of this (evening) is validating for (all of us).”
Vancouver pianist Renee Rosnes won the Jazz Album of the Year: Solo, for her album, Kinds of Love. It was Rosnes’s fifth Juno overall. She also won in 2017 (Jazz Album of the Year: Solo for Written in the Rocks), 2003 (Traditional Jazz Album of the Year for Life on Earth), 1997 (Best Mainstream Jazz Album for Ancestors) and 1992 (Best Jazz Album for For the Moment). She has been nominated on nine previous occasions.
Lauren Falls of Port Alberni was also nominated in the category.
Lenka Lichtenberg, a Czech-born singer, composer and songwriter who moved to Vancouver in the 1980s, won the Global Music Album of the Year Award for her album, Thieves of Dreams.
Other notable winners on Saturday night were the Arkells, for Group of the Year, Alexis On Fire, for Rock Album Of the Year (Otherness), Angelique Francis, who won the Blues Album of the Year for her release, Long River, and Banx and Ranx as Breakthrough Group of the Year.
The annual celebration of Canadian music continues with the Juno Awards broadcast on Monday, where more B.C artists will be up for two awards, including Mission’s Carly Rae Jepsen, up for Best Pop Album, Chilliwack’s Boslen, for Rap Album of the Year, and Nanaimo’s Lauren Spencer Smith, who is up for two awards – the TikTok Juno Fan Choice Award, and Artist Of The Year.