Juno Awards cancelled over COVID-19 concerns

The host city Juno award at Museum London, April 30, 2018. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

Concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have led to the cancellation of the 2020 Juno Awards.

Canada’s biggest night in music was slated to be held this Sunday in Saskatoon. However, Juno officials announced on Thursday the awards would not go ahead amid fears about the possible spread of the virus.

“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we collectively confirm the cancellation of the 49th Annual Juno Awards and Juno Week activities in Saskatoon due to concerns surrounding COVID-19,” Juno officials said in a statement.

The decision to cancel the annual awards show came after discussions between organizers and the Saskatchewan government, the City of Saskatoon, Tourism Saskatoon, and the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

“We are devastated to cancel this national celebration of music, but at this time of global uncertainty, the health, safety and well-being of all Canadians must stand at the forefront of any decisions that impact our communities. We know this is the right decision based on the information we currently have and are continuing to receive,” the statement continued.

An alternative way to honour this year’s Juno winners is in the works.

The cancellation of the Canadian music awards show comes one day after the National Basketball Association announced it was suspending its current season until further notice due to COVID-19. Two players on the Utah Jazz have been confirmed to have contracted the virus that has killed approximately 4,291 people worldwide.

The National Hockey League is expected to make an announcement pertaining to COVID-19 Thursday afternoon.

The World Health Organization declared the global outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday. More than 118-thousand people have been sickened by COVID-19 worldwide, 100 of which are in Canada.