Juno Awards cancellation still felt in Saskatoon one year later
SASKATOON -- Saskatoon was supposed to come alive with all the festivities the Juno Awards bring one year ago this week and the impact of the cancellation is still being felt in the city.
The show was called off due to COVID-19 concerns on March 12, 2020, only days before the show was set to take place at the SaskTel Centre.
“We had a Juno showcase with a couple other bands and obviously any time there’s a Junos event, a lot of industry folk and a lot of bands are playing in the city,” said W3apons band member Tallus Scott.
Scott’s band did go through with their showcase performance, but it ended up being their last live event since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Had a lot of time to do some song writing, recording and demoing,” Scott said.
Artists were not the only ones affected by the event’s cancellation.
Amigos Cantina Manager Jim Clarke said his establishment completely agreed with the cancellation, but noted it took more than a financial loss when it was forced to cancel its regular live shows in the lead up.
“We had some shows booked in conjunction and were quite excited about that happening,” said Clarke. “The previous Junos that came to Saskatoon, we had quite a few shows and it was quite an exciting time and we were really looking forward to this.”
“It’s a boost for our business but it’s also just a very fun time, there’s a lot of musicians in town.”
On top of losing its regular live shows, the cancellation of the Junos kicked off a three-month period when the restaurant closed its doors entirely in the early days of COVID-19.
Clark estimates the awards show would have boosted its weekend revenue by 50 per cent, highlighting the economic loss the cancellation resulted in for businesses in Saskatoon.
“The Junos was going to have about a $9 million impact on the city and so, with the loss of that event and the cancellation of that event, nobody will be unaffected,” said Stephanie Clovechok, vice president of Tourism Saskatoon.
The 2020 Junos were held virtually last June.