Tegan And Sara Speak Out On Lack Of Gender Diversity Regarding Juno Nominations

Duo nominated for three Juno awards

Yesterday, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 2017 Juno Awards.

A few of the nominees include Drake, Leonard Cohen, The Weeknd, Kaytranada, Grimes, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, and of course Tegan & Sara with three nominations for their work on the 2016 effort Love You to Death.

The duo took to Facebook to share their displeasure over the number of female nominees this year, calling it “disappointing.” In an open letter, Tegan and Sara start off by expressing their gratitude surrounding their nominations to The CARAS before diving into their issue with the diversity of the nominees, specifically regarding the lack of female artists nominated:

“We’d like to extend a massive thank you to CARAS and the Junos for our three nominations today! Songwriter of the Year is of particular significance to us, because no matter which genre our individual albums have fallen into, it is the craft of songwriting that has connected them all.

Our first Juno win was in Winnipeg in 2014. Standing on that stage accepting an award in front of friends, family, peers, fans, and industry alike was an extremely moving experience. As queer women who have been out since the beginning of our career in 1998, this hasn’t always felt like the most inclusive industry. But that night in Winnipeg has continued to stand out to us as a watershed moment.

We congratulate all the artists who were nominated today and commend the Junos for recognising two Canadian legends, Sarah McLachlan and Buffy Sainte-Marie for two of the night’s most prestigious awards – we’re humbled and honoured to be included amongst you. It is with tremendous respect and absolutely no judgement of each nominee’s well-deserved accomplishments that we take this moment to address the disappointing number of women nominated in many of the various categories.

In 8 categories no women were recognised at all, and in over 12 additional categories, only 1 in 5 of the nominees included a woman. Specifically, in the areas of production and engineering, it is discouraging to not see a single woman represented.

We bring this message to members of our industry who have tremendous power to sign, fund, promote, nominate, support, acknowledge, and celebrate the diverse population of our country working in the arts today. The demographic breakdown of Juno nominations reflects the structural confines of our society and industry. We must do better as it sends an outdated message to the next generation about whose art and voice and message is valuable.

We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from CARAS, our record label, our agents, managers, promoters, radio programmers, journalists and the countless other establishments and individuals who have supported us since we began our career. But we wouldn’t be Tegan and Sara if we didn’t speak our minds about this important issue. We write this message today in the hopes that we can all work towards balancing the scales for women, people of colour, and LGBTQIIA artists and bands in our country in the years to come.

Thank you,
Tegan and Sara”.