The 2015 Juno Awards took Hamilton by storm, bringing four days of music and celebrations to the city. It did so with energy synonymous with the momentum being felt across our city in recent years. I’ve always been proud of my hometown; I’ve never lived anywhere but Hamilton. What the Junos did however amped this to new heights. The award show itself was a display of some of the best musical acts in the country. The three-day lead up set the stage for the roaring crowd inside First Ontario Centre in a way I can’t recall since perhaps the Road World Cycling Championships in 2003.
The hook, really, was how well the city presented itself to visitors. The economic spin no doubt boosted sales at restaurants, night clubs and retail, but the energy around town was the currency I was counting. The Junos seemed to take the best of city building we’ve been witnessing and meld arts, culture, culinary and entertainment into the perfect blend. While we should be sure to laud the city’s Tourism and Culture Division for an outstanding job of making the Junos a success, we can also turn to every business owner, volunteer, ambassador and Hamilton champion for collectively putting us on the map.
The Sam Roberts Band, who performed at the awards and brought a raw energy, say it perfectly with their song “We’re all in this together.” It takes each of us, all doing our part to increase Hamilton’s profile, build new business and propel us onto a new stage. Throughout the events each day, I continually ran into friends, business associates, community leaders and colleagues who were joining in marking the occasion and supporting local establishments. There couldn’t have been a better effort to promote the city.
— Mezcal Tacos&Tequila (@MezcalTNT) March 15, 2015
During the festivities, I visited a couple of new spots; the Sidebar in Hess Village and just-opened taco bar Mezcal. Each have a unique offering and are continuing to increase the range of quality options for entertainment and dining out. Mezcal is throwing down with some of the best Mexican cuisine I’ve experienced. The only improvement would actually being on vacation in Mexico. Great restaurants are the perfect match to a night at the theatre, a live music venue or a James Street North Art Crawl. The greater the choice in dining destination, the greater capacity we bring to the city.
Back to the refrain in the Sam Roberts song, hey Hamilton…“keep moving, don’t stop.”
– Brent Kinnaird
Business Administration ’94
Follow Brent @brentkinnaird