JUNO Awards 50th Anniversary - Spotlight on Canadian Children's Music

June 4, 2021 | Katherine McG

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The JUNO Awards put a spotlight on Canadian music and musicians. This year, they are celebrating their 50th anniversary!


Among the honours being awarded will be the Children's Album of the Year. This award, which was previously called "Best Children's Album," is given to the artists who released a recorded collection of music for children in the past year. The 2021 nominees include ABC Singsong, Charlie Hope, Ginalina, Njacko Backo and Kalimbas at Work, and Splash'N Boots. 

Junior Junos Logo (TPL)

Recently we hosted a series of programs called the Junior JUNOS, featuring four Children's Album of the Year contenders. The nominated artists performed family-friendly virtual concerts. We were happy to host these performances, which help us to shine a light on some of our great Canadian talent.

These concerts were live performances, but you can still listen to some of these musicians by borrowing their music on CD. We have albums in our collection by Ginalina and Splash'N Boots as well as their fellow nominee Charlie Hope.

Forest Friends Nature Club Album by Ginalina

Forest Friends' Nature Club Album by Ginalina


Coconuts Don't Fall Far From the Tree by Splash'n Boots

Coconuts Don't Fall Far From the Tree by Splash'N Boots


Songs  Stories and Friends Let's Go Play by Charlie Hope

Songs, Stories and Friends: Let's Go Play! by Charlie Hope


Or you could enjoy listening to some of the past Children's Album of the Year winners:

You  Me and The Sea by Splash’N Boots

You. Me and the Sea by Splash'N Boots - 2019 Children's Album of the Year


Hear the Music by Fred Penner

Hear the Music by Fred Penner - 2018 Children's Album of the Year


I Believe in Little Things by Diana Panton

I Believe in Little Things by Diana Panton - 2017 Children's Album of the Year


If you prefer to listen to your music digitally, Hoopla has a great collection of children's music, including the work of JUNO winner Raffi.

Bananaphone by Raffi


Picture Books

A celebration of JUNO recognized artists doesn't have to stop with the music. Several previous winners and nominees have written books which can also be borrowed from TPL.

Baki and the Magic Egg

Baki and the Magic Egg by Njacko Backo 


Sharon, Lois & Bram's Skinnamarink by Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilenstein, and Bram Morrison

Shake My Sillies Out

Shake My Sillies Out (Raffi Songs to Read) by Raffi

In the Waves

In the Waves by Lennon Stella and Maisy Stella

Hey Little Rockaby

Hey Little Rockaby: A Lullaby for Pet Adoption by Buffy Sainte-Marie


Future Winners

And what about the future of Canadian children's music? Could someone in your family be nominated or win a JUNO award in years to come?

One way that caregivers can start their child on the road to music recognition is by borrowing books that can help them to study music. You might start by exploring what instrument they may want to play or by learning some music basics. Or if they already sing or play an instrument, you could borrow sheet music with songs by past winners Raffi or Sharon, Lois, and Bram.

Play It! Children's Songs

Play It! Children's Songs: A Superfast Way to Learn Awesome Songs on Your Piano or Keyboard by Jennifer Kemmeter 


Learn to Speak Music

Learn to Speak Music: A Guide to Creating, Performing, and Promoting your songs by John Crossingham


Make Music by Norma Jean Haynes and Ann Sayre Wiseman

Make Music: A Kid's Guide to Creating Rhythm, Playing with Sound, and Conducting and Composing Music by Norma Jean Haynes


And of course singing is one of our Ready for Reading practices. You can read more of our tips in this blog post. Who knows, maybe singing with your child will not only start them on the road to reading, but on their way to the JUNOS too!


If you were to record your own Children's Album of the Year, which songs would you want to add to your playlist? Tell us about it in the comments below!