Nickelback's Chad Kroeger (L), Feist (C), and City & Colour's Dallas Green (R) are all competing for Junos Sunday.
With that in mind, here's a look at the 2012 Juno pack-- and their odds of crossing the finish line with the most hardware. Place your bets.
City & Colour
HOME TURF: St. Catharines, Ont.
RECORD: 2 wins; 7 nominations.
CURRENT RACES: Artist, Fan Choice, Single, Songwriter.
STRENGTHS: Since leaving the Alexisonfire pack for his one-time side project, singer-guitarist Dallas Green hasn't looked back; his third CD Little Hell is his finest work to date.
HANDICAPS: The outspoken indie-rocker's apparent indifference toward the awards leaves him something of a dark horse.
HOME TURF: Toronto, Ont.
RECORD: 2 wins; 14 nominations.
CURRENT RACES: Album, Artist, Fan Choice, Rap Recording.
STRENGTHS: Drizzy burst out of the gate in 2009 and hasn't slowed since -- and with his sophomore CD Take Care, the man born Aubrey Graham has hit his creative stride.
HANDICAPS: So far, the Junos have shown Drake little love -- he hosted last year's show in his beloved Toronto and still went 0 for 6. Ouch.
HOME TURF: Amherst, N.S.
RECORD: 8 wins; 15 nominations.
CURRENT RACES: Adult Alternative Album, Artist, Music DVD, Songwriter.
STRENGTHS: Her 2007 album The Reminder and its ubiquitous single 1234 earned five trophies for singer-songwriter Leslie Feist, so judges clearly love her.
HANDICAPS: Her latest album Metals, while deservedly acclaimed, hasn't had the same commercial impact.
HOME TURF: Abbotsford, B.C.
RECORD: 1 win; 18 nominations.
CURRENT RACES: Group, Fan Choice, Pop Album, Single.
STRENGTHS: CanIdol refugee Jacob Hoggard and Co.'s fourth and most recent album Storms contains their most mature and thoughtful work to date.
HANDICAPS: Their recent growth spurt seems something of an awkward fit with their raucous pop-punk antics.
HOME TURF: Smithers, B.C.
RECORD: 0 wins; 4 nominations.
CURRENT RACES: Alternative Album, New Artist, Songwriter, Video.
STRENGTHS: In his first Juno campaign, the Vancouver folk-rock singer-songwriter and his lauded third album Oh Fortune certainly hit the ground running.
HANDICAPS: He's out of his league in some of these categories, and still something of an unknown quantity.
HOME TURF: Hanna, Alta.
RECORD: 12 wins; 31 nominations.
CURRENT RACES: Album, Group, Fan Choice, Single.
STRENGTHS: The iron horses of Canadian rock, Chad Kroeger and Co. have been up for Junos in 10 of the past 12 years, and won in six. They've got the inside track, like it or not.
HANDICAPS: Released in November, their seventh album Here and Now only qualified due to the awards' blurry deadlines; it hasn't had much time to make an impact.
ODDS: Even money.
REASONS TO WATCH
As usual, this year's Juno Awards broadcast should be a mixture of great performances, bad jokes, predictable wins, ridiculous upsets and forced banter. Here are some reasons to keep your eyes (and ears) peeled.
Sure, hiring the 81-year-old Shatman to host the awards may be the Junos' most ludicrous piece of stunt casting since Pamela Anderson. But admit it -- despite all the inevitable Star Trek gags and priceline.com shilling, you're still looking forward to hearing Hollywood's biggest ham sing-speak some Can-Rock gems in his instantly ... identifiable ... halting ... cadence. Beam me up.
Depending on your POV, Chad Kroeger and co. are either one of the world's greatest bands or one of the most virulent plagues ever visited upon rock 'n' roll. Either way, there's no denying they are huge. And that they loves them some pyro. So before they take the Juno stage to play on Sunday, you might want to usher small children, animals and the elderly out of the room.
Anvil's Steve (Lips) Kudlow & Robb Reiner
Five years ago, longsuffering rockers Anvil were the Spinal Tap of Canadian metal. But now they're having the last laugh. Their eponymous documentary resuscitated their career, they were nominated for their first Juno in this year's inaugural Metal / Hard Music Album category -- and they're presenting an award. As Nigel Tufnel noted: There's a fine line between clever and stupid.