VANCOUVER – Canadian crooner Michael Buble says he feels privileged to be hosting the 2018 Juno Awards, a music industry gala he describes as “my happy place.”
The British Columbia native had been tapped to lead the music awards show last year before he bowed out when his eldest son, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer.
“It’s been a rough year, for not just me. I’m sure it’s been a rough year for a lot of people,” Buble said, speaking at a Junos event in Vancouver on Tuesday.
“The fact is, in troubled times we get to have one night to really, really celebrate Canadian music and all of these beautiful things. I thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to handle that again.”
The 47th annual Juno Awards will be staged at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on March 25, 2018.
Buble, who was born in Burnaby, B.C., announced earlier this month he was getting back to work next year, with events booked in Dublin and London in July 2018.
He and his wife, Argentine actress Luisana Lopilato, had said last year they would put their careers on hold while their son received treatment for an unspecified form of cancer.
Buble said in February that Noah, now four, was progressing well and that doctors were “very optimistic” about his future, as he described his son’s courage as an inspiration.
Buble is a 12-time Juno award winner and hosted the gala in Regina in 2013.
This is the fourth time the event has been held in Vancouver.
The city’s mayor, Gregor Robertson, thanked the Junos team for bringing the week-long celebration of Canadian music back to Vancouver.
Robertson, who was also mayor when the Junos were last in Vancouver in 2009, said he thinks the city can do “a lot better” this time.
“We were a little distracted by a big, giant thing we were taking on in 2010, which some of you might remember: The Olympics and Paralympics,” he said. “But we are really excited to have the Junos back.”
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which runs the Junos, announced earlier this year it is reinstating the comedy album of the year category after a 33-year hiatus.
Singer Bryan Adams and comedian Russell Peters stepped in to host the 2017 Junos in Ottawa after Buble cancelled.
The event became controversial after Peters made comments during his opening monologue that were criticized as sexualizing women.
Peters opened the show by referencing young girls in the audience as a “felony waiting to happen,” and described federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, who was handing out an award, as “hot.”
Allan Reid, head of the Junos, apologized for the remarks, which he described as off script.
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Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the awards would be held on March 24.