The Juno Awards began as a reader poll conducted by Canadian music industry trade magazine RPM Weekly in December 1964. A similar balloting process continued until 1970 when the RPM Gold Leaf Awards, as they were then known, were presented for the first time during a ceremony at Toronto's St.
The Juno Awards began as a reader poll conducted by Canadian music industry trade magazine RPM Weekly in December 1964. A similar balloting process continued until 1970 when the RPM Gold Leaf Awards, as they were then known, were presented for the first time during a ceremony at Toronto's St. Lawrence Hall. The following year the awards were renamed the Junos after the Roman goddess and in tribute to Pierre JUNEAU. Juneau was the first chairperson of the Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission and was responsible for the introduction of the 30% Canadian content regulation to AM radio.
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) was formed to oversee the annual Juno awards ceremony in 1975, the same year the Junos were broadcast on CBC-television for the first time. Membership in CARAS was open to everyone involved in the recording industry, thus broadening the voting base for the Junos. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established by CARAS in 1978, and Oscar PETERSON and Guy LOMBARDO were the first inductees to be honoured for their achievements. RPM publisher Walt Grealis was recognized for his efforts in launching the Junos when The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award was inaugurated in 1984 to acknowledge members of the Canadian music community who have played a significant role in building a viable and growing domestic industry.
The Juno Awards ceremony grew significantly in 1995 when it moved from being primarily an industry function at Toronto's O'Keefe Centre to a public event at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum, which attracted more than 10 000 fans. The 25th anniversary of the Juno Awards was celebrated in 1996 with the release of both a book and a four-disc box set entitled Oh What a Feeling. The box set was the first in Canadian history to be certified diamond for total sales of 1 million discs.
The Junos were held outside of Toronto for the first time in 1991, at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Vancouver hosted the awards show for a second time in 1998, moving it to the much larger GM Place. The Junos' growing popularity made the move to arenas permanent, and they alternated between Hamilton and Toronto from 1999 to 2001. CARAS introduced the new approach of taking the event to music fans across the country when St. John's, Nfld, hosted it in 2002. This also marked the first time that the awards were given out over 2 evenings: most awards were presented in front of an industry audience on Saturday and then a select few were given out on the nationally televised show on Sunday in between an increased number of performances in a much larger venue. A multi-night music festival, autograph signings and other activities were added to further raise the profile of the Junos. That format has been maintained ever since, and the event has been held in Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Regina and Saskatoon. Celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2011, the Juno Awards were held in Toronto.