The Junos will likely shine a spotlight on superstars Drake, Shania Twain and the late Gord Downie in the top categories. (Canadian Press photo)

Juno nominations to be unveiled as pressure mounts for more female representation

The 2018 Juno Awards nominees will be unveiled this morning as the music industry grapples with questions about a lack of female representation.

Canada’s biggest music bash will likely shine a spotlight on superstars Drake, Shania Twain and the late Gord Downie in the top categories.

But many will be closely watching the number of female artists who earn recognition in the wake of the MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

The Junos were criticized last year for a poor showing of women across the nominees, even though some felt there were plenty of worthy contenders.

Numerous album categories — including country, francophone, rap, R&B/soul and reggae — only had one female nominee each. Both the engineer and producer categories didn’t generate a single female nominee.

Conversations over representation escalated after last month after Brampton, Ont., singer Alessia Cara was the only woman to be awarded on the televized portion of the Grammys.

With an abundance of critically acclaimed projects by Canadian women qualifying this year, the Junos have an array of possibilities to choose from.

Serena Ryder, Nelly Furtado and Ruth B are among the other popular female artists who could grab nominations, while buzzworthy acts like Jessie Reyez, Lido Pimienta and female-led rock bands Alvvays and Weaves might also find themselves among the contenders.

Others who could grab nominations include rising R&B newcomer Daniel Caesar and Arcade Fire’s dance-rock effort “Everything Now.”

The Juno Awards, hosted by pop crooner Michael Buble, air live on CBC-TV on March 25.

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