JUNO awards cancelled over COVID-19 concerns

The JUNO awards and JUNO week have been cancelled over concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.

The JUNO host committee announced the cancellation Thursday morning in a joint statement with the City of Saskatoon and the provincial ministry of health.

The news comes as a disappointment to country music star Brett Kissel, who was set to perform at the Awards show and host Saturday night’s JUNO banquet.

However, Kissel said he realizes this is the right decision.

“I’m definitely saddened and disappointed that the JUNO’s have been cancelled this year, but at the same time I completely trust our President, Allan Reid, I completely trust the entire organization for thinking about this.

“This is not a decision that they take lightly in any way, shape, or form.”

Despite his disappointment, Kissel said this is the right call, and that it’s important for everyone to follow the precautions set out by both federal and provincial governments when it comes to COVID-19.

“I’m not nervous for it, we’re just going to follow the rules, and I think that’s the most important thing to do as an artist who has a platform to stand and say ‘follow the rules,’whatever our government is saying, it’s for a reason,” Kissel said. “Maybe it’s a good thing to maybe just slow down the world for a minute, stop this disease, get rid of it, come back new, fresh, better than ever.”

Kissel added that there is a lot of talk in the music industry on what to do with ongoing tours and upcoming summer festivals, but until a collective decision is  made, it will be business as usual.

The host committee says arrangements will be made to honour the nominees and winners at a later time.

If the JUNO’s are not rescheduled, next year’s event is set to be hosted in Toronto on March 28, 2021.

(With files from Josh Sigurdson)

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