Toronto big-time represented at the Juno Awards held in Regina over the weekend. Highlights included Metric's James Shaw taking home producer of the year and the band snagging the alternative album award. Serena Ryder won for adult alternative album, Drake's HYFR for best video and the Weeknd for R&B/soul recording and breakthrough artist. Rush's Clockwork Angels took home hardware in the rock album category, Oakville's spectacularly dressed Anjulie got best dance recording, the roots/traditional album award went to Elliott Brood and best classical album to Amici Chamber Ensemble's Levant. Woods of Ypres's win in the metal/hard music album category was bittersweet - singer David Gold died in a car accident in 2011.
Superhero DJs in our midst
A new graphic novel series, The Future Prophecy, by local electronic music-maker Sara Simms and her sister Melle Oh, pits characters inspired by Toronto DJs and musicians against each other in battles of good and evil. Characters include Dextra Delano, Xander, Decklyn Dubs and Gui Guillotine, to name a few. Simms herself is the series' superheroine who "wields the power of the future of music." The real-life musicians also perform live as a superhero/villain DJ collective. Visit futureprophecy.com for upcoming shows and to read the first volume in the series.
Canadian musicians are invited to apply to the Hennessy Talent Quest, which sends this year's winner to Cognac, France, to perform at the Blues Passions festival happening July 2 to 7. Canadian participants can also win a showcase at the Beaches International Jazz Festival (July 19 to 28). Most genres - rock, hip-hop, country, folk, blues, etc - are eligible. Apply by video at hennessy.com. But hurry - the contest closes Tuesday (April 30).