While the awards are ultimately about celebrating Canadian music—and those who make the industry function—some of our favourite Juno moments happen at the awards gala. And that’s because, as the crown of Juno week, the gala brings together an eclectic mishmash of people: its hosts have ranged from Mike Bullard to Pamela Anderson; and its musical performances can pair odd couples, like the time when Drake rapped a verse on Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Weird? You bet.
Indeed, when everyone comes together for the Juno awards ceremony, strange things can happen. Like what? We’re glad you asked.
Drake went looking for Old Money
In 2015, Drake will have two of the most anticipated rap releases of the year, with the just-dropped If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which sold a half-million copies in a week, and his forthcoming Views From the 6 album (ED NOTE: Errr, nevermind). Back in 2011, though, the 6 God was a fresh-faced 6 pup—and for the Junos, he explained hip-hop to a group of seniors. Adorable.
Howie Mandel fell off the stage
Back in 1987, Howie Mandel had hair. And he also hosted the Juno Awards, in what was one of their strangest clips of all time: He opens it by falling off the stage, emerging bloody, and rambling through a half-baked intro. Yes, he’s bleeding, and no, we’re not sure if this clip was staged.
The Barenaked Ladies pulled a long, elaborate drummer joke
Drummers are like goalies: The butt of all jokes forever. The Barenaked Ladies understand this, and in one of the oddest stickman gags we’ve ever seen, they had Tyler Stewart running around the ceremony, drumming on anyone he could. We don’t get it, either.
Drake sang Sarah McLachlan song to Justin Bieber
Of all the strange skits Drake had at the Junos, this might be the strangest. After a tearful Skype date with Justin Bieber—who, by the way, is a terrible actor—the two Canadian stars share a duet over “I Will Remember You.” Weird? Yup. Touching? Strangely so.
Shad got really starstruck after meeting Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew
Shad has a reputation for being a nice dude, but when he met Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew, he wasn’t just being friendly—he was downright starstruck. Turns out, Shad’s been a long-time fan of the classic Canadian rockers, and when he met Frew, he couldn’t help but be tongue-tied, over-thinking everything. And we’ll be honest: It’s kind of adorable.
A cow walked the red carpet in Calgary
In the last few years, Calgary’s done a lot to combat its rep as a cowboy town: There’s tons of great music emerging from the city, including the inimitable Viet Cong. Their mayor, Naheed Nenshi, is routinely hailed as one of Canada’s best—and most progressive. But just as you’re about to declare, “Hey, Calgary ain’t just a rodeo town,” they go ahead and march a cow down the Juno red carpet, as remembered by Lainey Gossip‘s Lainey Lui in the video above.
Michael Bublé tried to imitate Russell Peters
Here’s something we thought we’d never see: Michael Bublé imitating Russell Peters imitating his immigrant dad’s accent. Um.
Brent Butt went on a diner tour of Winnipeg
If Calgary’s a cowboy town, this Junos skit with Brent Butt establishes Winnipeg as something else entirely: Apparently, it’s a Salisbury House town.
The Rheostatics ate an entire jar of pickled eggs in Newfoundland
Legendarily, Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell once scarfed down 24 eggs in a sitting. Not to be outdone, though, the Rheostatics have an even better story: After having lost a Juno to Hawksley Workman in Newfoundland, the band left the ceremony, went to their hotel, and scarfed down a briny jar of pickled eggs. Ew.