June 19th, 2024

Sakamoto to receive special achievement award at Junos

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 17, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge music promoter Ron Sakamoto has been named as the recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

The announcement was made Monday with Sakamoto be given the honour at the opening night of the Juno Awards on March 11 in Edmonton.

The award recognizes “individuals whose work has significantly impacted the growth and development of the Canadian music industry.” It is named after the co-founder of the Junos.

In an email to The Herald, Sakamoto said the award is “such an incredible honour, so beyond thrilled for this recognition.”

He added “‘First of all, Walt Grealis was one of the most influential people in the music business and was instrumental in co-founding the Juno Awards. Second, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS) and the Juno Awards is, as far as I am concerned, the pinnacle of achievement in the Canadian Music Business because it covers all genres of music.

“But most important is that to be awarded the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award by your peers in the Juno organization is truly such an honour. For everyone who was instrumental in making├é┬áthis happen for me, I really want to give a special thank you and tell you words can’t express how much this means to me.”

In a statement, the Junos said “Sakamoto’s half-century-long career has earned him high regard in the country music space, having closely worked with some of the most recognizable names in Canada, including Shania Twain, Johnny Reid and The Washboard Union.”

“Born and raised in Coaldale, Alberta, Ron’s lasting career as an accomplished concert promoter, manager, mentor and philanthropist within Canada’s country music landscape and beyond, has earned him close to 50 national and international accolades. Having worked with top recording artists like The Guess Who, Bryan Adams, Bee Gees, KISS, Keith Urban and so many more, Sakamoto’s success can be attributed to his continued drive and dedication to elevating Canadian entertainment.”

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