TD Green Room - Inspiring The Future
2019 JUNO AwardsJohn Urban
The TD Green Room located in the Ballroom East of the DoubleTree by Hilton, was the place to be on Friday afternoon in the Forest City. One of the many extraordinary events going on this week around the city leading up to the 2019 JUNO Awards. The 6th annual event by TD Canada Trust is one of the only events that allows community partners, media and the musicians themselves to mingle. If complimentary food/drinks, plus live music wasn’t enough, hair/makeup concierge service was provided in the room as well.
“I had it on my bucket-list to play the JUNOs last year, so I manifested it. So, I’m really grateful to my team for working so hard and the JUNOs for having me,” said country artist Kalsey Kulyk after performing on stage. The amazing young talent was named the Discovery Artist of the Year at the 2017 CCMAs and is currently performing out of Nashville, Tennessee. Kalsey was one of many performers to take the stage and the opportunity was not lost on her, “you know this Green Room and the TD event has been really cool, I’ve gotten to meet with a lot of people I haven’t met with yet, I’ve gotten to connect with people I’ve met previously. You know the JUNOs are super important, because it brings all genres of music together.”
Canadian singer/songwriter Julian Taylor of the Julian Taylor Band also performed before heading back to Toronto for another gig. However, for a talented musician who’s been nominated at the Toronto Independent Music Awards, Indigenous Music Awards and Black Canadian Awards, he explained it’s not all about the recognition: “it’s really amazing that people get recognized for their talents and their gifts, but my job is to do the work. My job is to make the music that I feel is inspiring to myself and to others and if I lose focus on that, I’m not doing my job.”
One of the more heart touching moments of the event was when the London Girls Rock Camp took the stage. After receiving $25,000 from the MusicCounts charity, an outreach program through the JUNOs supported by TD, the young ladies stole the show. “All the younger kids are super hyped, all the LIT staff are really excited. It’s just so much buzz around going to the JUNOs, it’s something that a lot of people won’t be able to experience unless they go to London Girls Rock Camp,” said Eleanor Bertram who has been a member of the camp for over four years.
After their performance, the girls were treated to front stage seats for when the sister-brother duo The Reklaws had their set. Originally from Cambridge, Ontario, The Reklaws recently won the SiriusXM Rising Stars at the 2018 CCMAs and were presented an award on stage post-performance from SOCAN for their recording accomplishments from the month of January. “I just think we don’t give kids credit sometimes to be creative and be in that space. I am so proud of the space that our staff and volunteers create for them,” stated Savanah Sewell the director of the London Girls Rock Camp backstage. When asked if she hopes to see some of her camp goers eventually perform as a JUNO artist one day, Savanah's answer was simple "yes, yeah of course, obviously I'd love to see these kids up there. I think some of them are stage ready right now."
With events such as the JUNO Cup, JUNO Express, JUNO Comedy Show and JUNO Side Stage presented by Budweiser, it’s easy to get lost in all the extra events around the city. However, those events will have a hard time to match the TD Green Room, which masterfully collected the community, media, artists and industry professionals together to enjoy the true essence of Canadian music. Reflecting on past accomplishments, presenting the present Canadian music scene and hopefully inspiring future Canadian artists through the London Girls Rock Camp.