NEXT’s picks for the top 10 things to do in Canada for the month of June 2021. The JUNO Awards celebrate Cancon, Indigenous Music Summit surges and Blue Rodeo re-boots.
By: NEXT Magazine
Canadian Music's Big Night
Juno Awards Sun., June 6, 8 pm ET TV and radio broadcast Free junoawards.ca
Canadian music’s biggest night, the annual JUNO Awards, won’t be stopped by COVID—especially not during its 50th anniversary year.
Canada’s best new and established musical talent will be celebrated with a truckload of awards, nominees include The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Crown Lands (pictured) and Lennon Stella.
Feist will perform alongside Canadian rock legends The Tragically Hip in their first televised performance since the loss of Gord Downie. The Hip are receiving the Humanitarian Award, presented by Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, for their support of several social and environmental causes. Viewers can catch the ceremony on all CBC platforms.
International Indigenous Music Summit Tues., June 8 – Sat., June 12 Virtual event Pay what you can indigenousmusicsummit.com
The International Indigenous Music Summit brings together artists, community members and industry professionals through a series of virtual showcases and panels that honour tradition while creating awareness, sharing resources and building opportunities for the Indigenous music community.
A highlight will be Giiwewizh: 16 short docs filmed across Canada, directed by activist Sarain Fox and featuring Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Shawnee Kish, Julian Taylor and more.
iHeartMedia proudly present their second annual Can’t Cancel Pride event, a star-studded livestream to benefit the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Hosted by Elvis Duran and singer-songwriter BeBe Rexha, it kicks off a month-long initiative to raise funds for several non-profits, including GLAAD, The Trevor Project and the National Black Justice Coalition.
Performers and guests include Lil Nas X, P!nk, Demi Lovato and Tate McRae. The show will stream live on iHeartRadio’s social channels and be available on demand until June 30.
Toronto-based comedy crew Black Sheep add laughs to your lounging with a special showcase of Canadian talent. The evening will be headlined by Rebecca Reeds, co-host of The Villain Was Right, an award-winning podcast that dares to view films and TV shows from the villain’s perspective. Other standups include Lianne Mauladin, who has appeared on ABC and SiriusXM, and rocket scientist-turned-writer Amish Patel.
What better way to launch an album than with a virtual festival and over 50 special guests?! American indie band Bachelor—Jay Som and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner—just released their debut album Doomin’ Sun and, to celebrate, the duo have curated a special livestream that’s part concert, part telethon. Donations collected during the event will benefit Seeding Sovereignty, an Indigenous-led collective working to radicalize colonized spaces. Viewers can catch a performance from the band, as well as guest appearances from Tegan and Sara, Japanese Breakfast, Jeff Rosenstock, Andy Shauf and many, many others. The festival also includes a virtual afterparty inside the 3D social game Hotel Hideaway.
No pandemic will stop Canada’s roots-rock legends Blue Rodeo from performing! Forced to postpone their April livestream, the beloved group have rescheduled their event to this month. Streaming from Toronto’s historic Danforth Music Hall, the show kicks off with a special pre-concert chat with the band, who share some of their favourite tour memories.
In preparation for the big JUNOs broadcast, JUNO Week offers artists and fans 11 days of virtual events, all free to stream on the CBC website. One must-see event is the Songwriters’ Circle, presented by SOCAN and Music Publishers Canada. Hosted by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and streamed from the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, artists will perform and share stories behind some of their favourite songs. Guests include July Talk’s Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis, and Deborah Cox. Also on the JUNO Week schedule is Advance Music x JUNO Talks (June 3, 2 pm ET), discussing the impact of Black music in Canada, and the Opening Night Awards (June 4, 8 pm ET) with Crown Lands and Monowhales.
Charli XCX Doc Inside Out Highlight
Inside Out Festival Now until Sun., June 6 Virtual event $225 all-access pass, $12 per film insideout.ca/festival
Founded in 1991, Inside Out Festival is dedicated to promoting films made by and about 2SLGBTQ+ people. With 11 days of exciting programming, available entirely online, the legendary fest offers a mix of narrative films, documentaries and shorts.
Highlights include: Drag Invasion, a doc following the controversial yet powerful visit by RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants to Lima, Peru; and Dawn, Her Dad & The Tractor, a Canadian production about a father’s reconnection with his transgender daughter in small-town Nova Scotia. Closing night (June 5, 8:30 pm ET) hosts a special screening of popstar Charli XCX’s documentary Alone Together.
Italian Film Fest Offers Feast of Films
Italian Contemporary Film Festival Sun., June 27 – Sat., July 17 Live and virtual festival $90 drive-inpass, $30 virtual pass, $8 per film Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W icff.ca
ICFF, one of the largest Italian film festivals outside of Italy, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a unique hybrid event. This fun, three-week festival offers cross-country virtual screenings and drive-in viewing at Toronto’s Ontario Place. Films will be available to stream on demand during the festival dates, including special Q&A content with filmmakers. Features include Made in Italy, the tale of a father and son who renovate a Tuscan villa, and Okay! Madam, a family vacation that turns into a hostage situation.
Québec celebrates Fete Nationale (St. Jean Baptiste Day to some) on June 24, and while the usual bonfires and mega-bashes are on hold, the province’s broadcasters are jointly presenting a night of celebration from the shores of the Saint Lawrence. Some of Québec’s top performers will be featured, and singer-songwriter Marie-Mai hosts.
In addition to the broadcast, over 460 neighbourhoods across the province will take part in virtual and socially distanced celebrations.