Tobias Jesso Jr., Destroyer and more Vancouver acts up for 2016 Juno Awards

Destroyer at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Oct 17 2015. Kirk Chantraine photo for thesnipenews.com.

Destroyer at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Oct 17 2015. Kirk Chantraine photo for thesnipenews.com.

The nominees for the 45th Juno Awards were announced earlier today. The Canadian equivalent of the Grammys, the annual event rewards success as recognized by the music industry. To no one’s surprise, Toronto chart-toppers Drake, the Wknd, Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber (well, he’s originally from Stratford, Ontario, but close enough) led the pack.

Vancouver musicians and groups accounted for a respectable number of nominees, with the strongest showing by Tobias Jesso Jr. The Vancouver singer/songwriter had a breakout year for his debut solo album Goon and some high-profile songwriting credits (Adele, Sia).

Another Vancouver act that is new to the Junos is rock band Dear Rouge, who released their debut album earlier this year. Cellist Cris Derksen received a nod for her album Orchestral Powwow. Indie-rock sensation Destroyer received its second nomination, while perennials like Nickelback, Bryan Adams and Hedley are also acknowledged. The winners will be announced April 3 with a televised ceremony in Calgary.

Here’s a list of Vancouver artists nominated for Juno Awards.

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Tobias Jesso Jr., Destroyer and more Vancouver acts up for 2016 Juno Awards

The year’s best Vancouver albums you probably haven’t heard – 2015 edition

Chandra Melting Tallow released one of the most idiosyncratic records of the year.

Chandra Melting Tallow released one of the most idiosyncratic records of the year.

2015 was a landmark year for Canadian music, what with Canuck artists topping the Billboard singles charts on a frighteningly regular basis. Maybe you’ve heard of a couple guys named Drake and Justin Bieber? Yep. Ours.

It was also a good year for Vancouver musicians. Tobias Jesso Jr., Grimes, Carly Rae Jepsen and Destroyer, all of whom have local roots, released albums that were met with almost universal critical claim. (Jesso’s Goon made #46 on pitchfork.com’s list of the 50 best albums of the year; Destroyer’s Poison Season came in at #43; Jepsen’s e•mo•tion, 34; Grimes’ Art Angels, #3).

Dan Mangan, a Vancouver singer/songwriter who has achieved national success and some international recognition, released his most adventurous album, Club Meds, with his backing band Blacksmith. 2015 was also the year that Dear Rouge, winner of the local talent competition the Peak Performance Project in 2012, released its debut full-length, Black to Gold (check out the video for the title track here). We Are the City (originally from Kelowna) and Teen Daze (from Abbotsford) also released well-received records, Above Club and Morning World respectively.

But there were a number of other releases that didn’t receive the attention that they deserved. Here are 10 of this writer’s favourites, along with a couple of honorary mentions and other notable selections.

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The year’s best Vancouver albums you probably haven’t heard – 2015 edition

Vancouver artist to illustrate Margaret Atwood’s first graphic novel

vt Author Margaret Atwood04

Dark Horse Comics has announced that it will publish the first graphic novel by Margaret Atwood. Helping the author of The Handmaid’s Tale and the Oryx and Crake trilogy, among many other celebrated works, realize her vision is Vancouver artist/illustrator Johnnie Christmas.

The book, Angel Catbird, is scheduled for release in the fall of 2016, and concerns what Atwood is calling an “unusual superhero.”

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Vancouver artist to illustrate Margaret Atwood’s first graphic novel

Groundbreaking Vancouver label celebrates 30th anniversary with limited edition vinyl!

A publicity photo of Single Gun Theory.

A publicity photo of Single Gun Theory.

This year, the label that gave the world Sarah McLachlan, Skinny Puppy and a host of other homegrown talent is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

For the occasion, Nettwerk Records has already released limited edition vinyl versions of three of its most influential albums. As of last week, Delerium’s Karma, MC 900 Ft Jesus’ Welcome To My Dream and Single Gun Theory’s millions, like stars in my hands, the daggers in my heart rage war were available in new editions in the format. This Friday (Nov. 27, Black Friday), Nettwerk is releasing Trespassers William’s Different Stars.

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Groundbreaking Vancouver label celebrates 30th anniversary with limited edition vinyl!

Emerging Vancouver artists present their work at Launch! Festival Friday night

Sarah Jickling,

Sarah Jickling, one of the performers at the 2015 Launch! Festival. Bethany Menzel photo.

This Friday night, the Launch! Festival once again spotlights some of Vancouver’s most talented emerging artists.

Each year, Launch! selects a number of applicants from different artistic disciplines to showcase their work. Those selected also receive advice and guidance from professionals in their respective disciplines, which include music, theatre, film and dance.

For the Launch! Festival 2015, 10 artists have been chosen to perform and/or show their films on June 19 at the Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 W. Hastings St.). Here are some expected highlights.

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Emerging Vancouver artists present their work at Launch! Festival Friday night