Victoria metal, indie bands in the mix for Juno honors

Metal trio Spiritbox and indie folk duo Ocie Elliott have been nominated for the 2022 Juno Awards.

Two up-and-coming artists from Victoria entered the national conversation on Tuesday as metal trio Spiritbox and indie folk duo Ocie Elliott earned nominations for the 2022 Juno Awards.

The local artists, who are both up for Breakthrough Group of the Year (Spiritbox also earned a nomination for Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year) join Montreal pop singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin, who leads this year’s Juno nominees with six, and superstars Justin Bieber and The Weeknd on the hopefuls list.

The nods were first for Spiritbox and Ocie Elliott, who found success on both sides of the border last year.

Cardin also had a breakthrough in 2022 and is up for several key categories, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his debut feature “Phoenix.” Her track “Meaningless” was nominated for single of the year.

The singer has been on the rise since her arrival in the Top 4 of “La Voix”, the Quebec version of the singing competition “The Voice” in 2013.

Other top contenders this year include Shawn Mendes with four nominations. It is in line with the total held by Vancouver pop newcomer Jessia, known for her hit “I’m Not Pretty”, and Pressa, one of the rising stars of the Toronto rap scene.

The Juno bash is set to be held in person for the first time in three years at Toronto’s Budweiser outdoor stage on May 15.

The outdoor event will be hosted by “Shang-Chi” and “Kim’s Convenience” star Simu Liu and broadcast on CBC.

The show’s performers will include Cardin, Arkells, Avril Lavigne and Mustafa, organizers announced on Tuesday. Lavigne performs in Victoria at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Center on May 25, while Cardin heads to Capital Ballroom on Yates Street on June 15.

Nominees for Single of the Year also include Brett Kissel for “Make a Life, Not a Living”, Jessia for “I’m Not Pretty”, Justin Bieber and Daniel Caesar for “Peaches” (feat. Giveon), and the Weeknd for “Catch My Breath.”

Joining Cardin in the album of the year category are JP Saxe’s “Dangerous Levels of Introspection”, Justin Bieber’s “Justice”, Shawn Mendes’ “Wonder” and Tate McRae’s “Too Young to Be Sad”.

Juno organizers introduced several new categories this year in an effort to recognize a wider range of musicians. Rap Recording was split into two new categories – Rap Album/EP of the Year and Rap Single of the Year.

The Aboriginal Artist or Group of the Year now has two awards, one for contemporary Aboriginal artists and the other for traditional artists.

And a new award for underground dance single will celebrate the less traditional sounds often heard on club dance floors.

— With files from The Canadian Press