As someone who has never made it west of Toronto, this weekend’s Calgary jaunt was a real lesson in Canadiana. It was my first time experiencing a Chinook, my first time at a homegrown cowboy casino (the very same that Prince Harry partied at) and my first time walking the same red carpet as The Weeknd. But hey, stranger things have happened. Said red carpet had a distinctly chic spin for this year’s Juno Awards, with Holt Renfrew presenting the pre-show lounge where talent and VIPs held court (read: got buzzed) before the cameras started rolling. As the stars entered the room, I began an expert round of creeping and learned a few things:
Shawn Mendes is boyfriend material, despite what his birth date and Canadian law may tell you (he was born in 1998).
Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger rock a matching shade of bleach.
Francesco Yates and Shawn Hook both have a pretty good chance of being the next Bieber. Even the most VVVIP guests in the room fell prey to asking for selfies with the two rising stars.
Heather Marks still looks stunning despite taking a step back from the runways. She was also the best dressed of the evening in Prabal Gurung.
Even a celebrity likes a good freebie—an arcade claw game proved to be the hit of the lounge, with VIP guests lining up for their chance to score a Holt Renfrew gift card.