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Tegan and Sara Criticize Juno Awards for Lack of Gender Diversity

The Canadian Academy of Recordings Arts and Sciences announced nominations for its Juno Awards today, and indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara received three nods: Songwriter of the Year, Group of the Year, and Pop Album of the Year (for Love You to Death). But while thanking CARAS for the honor, the Quin sisters also critiqued the awards’ gender ratio.

“In 8 categories no women were recognized at all, and in over 12 additional categories, only 1 in 5 of the nominees included a woman,” Tegan and Sara wrote in a statement. “Specifically in the areas of production and engineering, it is discouraging to not see a single woman represented.”

Women are well-represented in some of the Juno Awards categories, like Alternative Album of the Year and Indigenous Music Album of the Year; Native Canadian songwriter and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie was also honored with the Junos’ humanitarian award. But many categories—rock, metal, dance, electronic, Breakthrough Group of the Year—are dominated by men. The Weeknd, Drake, and Shawn Mendes lead this year’s nominations, with five apiece.

“The demographic breakdown of Juno nominations reflects the structural confines of our society and industry,” Tegan and Sara write. “We must do better as it sends an outdated message to the next generation about whose art and voice and message is valuable. … [W]e wouldn’t be Tegan and Sara if we didn’t speak our minds about this important issue.” Read Tegan and Sara’s full statement here.