Canada’s annual celebration of recorded music, the JUNO Awards, is back in Toronto for 2011 and to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Canada’s answer to the Grammys, a complementary series of events has been developed. From fancy footwear exhibits – JUNO Sole at Bata Shoe Museum to artistically themed gardens – JUNO Rocks at Canada Blooms and sporting competitions (musicians vs. ex-Leafs at the JUNO Cup Hockey Game and a basketball tournament with members of the Arkells, Skratch Bastid and former world champion Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey at JUNO Hoops), there is something for everyone.
Last week, I went to the opening of the JUNO Tour of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario and I was tremendously inspired by the passion of the musicians explaining what particular artworks mean to them. Eight Canadian musicians chose their favourite pieces then recorded short videos explaining their inspiration. It’s like taking a journey deep into their artistic minds and underscores the idea that art is not just for the eyes, but really for the soul.
Listening to four-time JUNO winner Jane Bunnett, above, as she enthuses about her favourite piece – Chevreuse by Jean-Paul Rioppelle – I could almost hear the jazz music come alive in the multi-coloured painting.
Prolific musician Richard Terfry aka Buck 65, above, chose the painting The Tiff by Florence Carlyle and in his brilliant monologue about the piece he delves into the psyche of the two people depicted; Terfry teases an imaginative narrative out of Carlyle’s piece, a tale about the demise of a relationship and the right moment to tell a lover it’s over.
Two-time JUNO nominee, throat-singer Tanya Tagaq, above, sings her praise for Henry Moore’s sculptures in her unique, guttural, melodic voice and the viewer/listener feels as if the sculptures are alive. Other JUNO Award-winning musicians participating in the project include Dan Hill, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Hawksley Workman, Gord Downie and Measha Brueggergosman.
The JUNO Awards will be broadcast live from Air Canada Centre on Sunday March 27 on CTV; tickets to the show are available through Ticketmaster.
WHERE/WHEN: JUNO Tour of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West, 416-979-6648) until August 31, 2011, $11 – $19.50.
Photos: Jane Bunnett by Bill King, Buck 65 by Ryan Couldrey, Tanya Tagaq by Sarah Rose