April 10, 2008
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SJP


Juno winners didn't know...
By -- For JAM! Music


Each Juno statuette is a piece of art, made by an artist for an artist. There is not a box of factory-made awards doled out to all the winners. In fact, the one they pose for in photographs is a dummy. They get the real ones with their names on in the coming months.

All are hand-made by renowned Canadian glass blower Shirley Elford, who has created glass works for Luciano Pavarotti, Prince Edward, Elton John and Christopher Reeve. If the Juno body has a flaw, a bubble or a crack, she tosses it and starts again. Each piece is perfect when it is finally presented.

"If anybody wants a rejected body, they can have a rejected body," says Elford, who lives in Stoney Creek, Ontario. "It's not a Juno. It's a junette. It's only a Juno when it's completed as a whole because I do bodies for other projects too, but not Juno bodies. There's a body that I do that has arms."

Many of the 2008 winners knew someone had designed the statuette -- which represents the human body, encircled by a music staff, standing on top of the world -- but only a couple was aware they are original pieces of art.

"What's special about the Junos is they chose an artist to make a piece to honour an artist," says Elford, "and just like the artist has many people supporting them to get there, so too do I have many people supporting making the piece -- the people making the bases for me and things like that. It's not just me alone."

Here's what some of the 2008 Juno Award winners said when Lowdown filled them in about their statuette:

FEIST (Pop Album, Album, Artist, Songwriter, Single)

"It just made me think of the time that I took a night glass at ACA of glass blowing and burned myself really badly. Anyway, they're beautiful. I'm really glad they're not made from a mold. It's someone's hands making them to hand to someone else's hands."

SOPHIE MILMAN (Vocal Jazz Album)

"I had no idea actually. I had no clue. This is cool. Really? She makes every single one of them individually? Are you serious? Wow. That's wonderful. I'll take whatever she tosses. I'll put them on the shelf and say I won 10, 11. It's great. People display them as testaments to their own greatness, but I think displaying them is a testament to an artist. This is cool. Thank you for telling me that. It definitely gives it more meaning than just 50 things that come out of the box that are all identical. It's more about the meaning of the Juno than the actual thing that you get to hold in your hand, but the fact that you put something up on your wall, and you're so proud of it, and it's actually somebody else's work, so you pay tribute to yourself and someone else, it's great. As an artist, I can really appreciate that."

FINGER ELEVEN'S SCOTT ANDERSON (Rock Album)

"Wow. I didn't know that. That's amazing. Any award that we've won up until this point in our career, I don't have any physical evidence of. I just mean that sometimes you get a distinguished award and you get one of them, and maybe someone else in the band takes it. Remember, there are five of us. So the fact that they're handcrafted by this artisan, that makes it just incrementally more special. That's fantastic."

DEREK MILLER (Aboriginal Recording)

"That's great because I take a lot of pride in my craftsmanship of my art, so it's only fitting that somebody should take an amount of pride in their work. I've won flutes and stuff too, that were done by old guys, that were really good flute. I knew that the girl made it. I didn't know that she's so meticulous about her craft though, so that's good to hear."

SERENA RYDER (New Artist)

"Wow, I didn't know that. Oh my goodness. I'm absolutely shocked. I think it's wonderful. It makes sense in a way that it would have been handmade because the life of an artist, of a musician, of anyone who is in this business, anyone's life, it takes so much time to get where you are and when you win a Juno award, it's honouring not only where you are right there, it's honouring where you've come from, and to have had your hands on that piece of art, and making it piece by piece, and making it the way that you want it to be, I think it's perfect."

JULLY BLACK (R&B/Soul Recording)

"Good to know. I knew someone obviously took the time to carefully craft it because this is a part of history. So it's good to know that someone actually cares that much, and now I know. It's our community. Once you're a creator, you share in the victories forever, so of course, it's that much more valuable. Its not mass produced. So shout outs to her."

BELLY (Rap Recording)

"Wow, that's crazy. That's unbelievable. I didn't even know that. I'm going to cherish it a little bit more now that I know that, for real. You know what, I want one with a bubble next year [laughs]."

JEN GOULD (Children's Album):

"I had no idea. To me, it was such an unattainable goal; I had no idea what it would be. Wow. Anybody who knows me personally, my house is my display, my beautiful jewel case of things, so I'm going to be so honoured to have this in my house. I can't believe it. It's a piece of art, right? So I'm so excited."

BLUE RODEO'S GREG KEELOR (Adult Alternative Album):

"Oh, yes, the glassblower. Do you remember some of the other forms they had for the Junos? They had the big metronome, but this quite attractive. That's very impressive. That's nice to know because I thought it was a mold."

BILLY-NEWTON DAVIS (Dance Recording)

"I have a lifelong partner of 15 years and I have three Junos sitting on my credenza and he said to me, 'It's time now for the new one.' And I said, 'Okay, they're beautiful.' I have the metronome one. She didn't do that, but thank you Shirley. I'm really honoured and I'm really happy to put that statue in my home."


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