Canada proud

Final frames of Canada 67, the featured film at the Telephone Pavilion, Expo 67.

I stood in what seemed thunderous chaos. Horses galloped to the right of me, to the left of me. Lances appeared to whisk past my ears. The ground felt as if it were trembling beneath my feet. And I grabbed my dad’s arm, fearing if I didn’t I might topple over. Just audible above the din of the rhythmic panting of the horses and the pounding of their hooves, I could hear singing.

“O Canada. Our home and native land…”

Where the Junos come from

The current Juno Award owes its name to a champion of Canadian arts and culture from the late 1960s, Pierre Juneau. Photo Music Canada.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with some of my journalism students about the annual parade of awards shows – the Grammys, the People’s Choice Awards, the Oscars and the rest. The subject of this year’s Canadian music awards, coming up in April, eventually cropped up. They had all heard of the Junos, sure. But then I asked if anyone knew the origin of the Junos.

“Oh, it’s the name of the Canadian beach on D-Day,” one said.

“Yes, you’re right on the D-Day reference,” I said. “But not the musical one.”

“I know,” said one of my more erudite students. “Juno is the Roman goddess of marriage and queen of the gods.”

“Right again,” I said. “But she’s got nothing to do with the Juno Music Awards in Canada.”