There are probably more than a few smug smiles in London these days. It has been selected over every other community in Canada, including Windsor to host the 2019 Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Science JUNO Awards, Canada’s penultimate musical recognition night.
But, try as it might, London is nothing but a weakling in this much too obvious try to one up Windsor.
In a press release announcing the appointment, Chris Campbell, director of Culture and Entertainment Tourism for London, is reputed to have claimed the awards made him, “excited to show the world how culturally rich and diverse London is.”
Really? The Juno is a Canadian, not a world event. And, unarguably, is no match for Windsor’s costly hosting of the 2016 FINA minor short course swimming championship. Windsor had 6 per cent of the world’s population glued to their television sets.
In total, 462,610,035 people were actively learning what Windsor had on offer.
Last year, a meagre 1,272,000 watched the JUNOs from Ottawa. Certainly not even statistically significant given the millions who watched Windsor’s FINA event.
To celebrate JUNO, there is a week-long festival. FINA was also a week-long event, mostly at Windsor’s east end arena were a pool had to be trucked in because the city’s multi-million dollar downtown natatorium was simply too small.
London, said the JUNO announcement, is apparently growing a music scene. It started with Guy Lombardo, known for New Year’s Eve broadcasts. But Lombardo, and no disrespect to the maestro, pales in comparison to Shania Twain, a true born-in-Windsor global success.
It also turns out, even with a week of partying, JUNO is no big deal when it comes to economic impact. According to London’s announcement, each city appointed to host the awards has seen an average impact of $10 million.
Ten million is pocket change compared to the $32 million of economic activity FINA generated for Windsor, verified by the un-biased Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance. Windsor’s FINA competition also generated $42 million in economic impact for the province.
The province should thank Windsor while preparing for a small pittance from London’s JUNO hosting.
London will get its day in the sun, but its residents should prepare to look with envy at the Rose City. Windsor has an ace up its global popularity sleeve.
The city has been chosen to host the 2022 Can-Am Police-Fire Games. Londoners can be forgiven for being quite exasperated by the ongoing success of the Rose City.
Windsor benefits from a bright City Council with the apparent generous vision, and wallet, to throw caution to the wind. Council will spend to prove Windsor’s worthiness as a world city. Being such a global darling has made life better for every Windsor resident.