Canadian Music Industry Legend Ron Sakamoto to Receive Prestigious Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at 2023 JUNO Awards

The award will be presented at the JUNO Awards Opening Night presented by Music Canada March 11, 2023

EDMONTON – The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced today that Ron Sakamoto, one of the hottest names in the music industry in Canada, wiwill be rewardeded the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. Sakamoto’s half-century career has earned him high regard in country music, having worked closely with some of Canada’s best-known names, including Shania Twain, Johnny Reid and The Washboard Union.

The Walt Grealis Award for Special Achievement honors individuals whose work has had a significant impact on the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. The award is named after the legendary Canadian publisher and co-founder of the JUNO Awards. It will be presented to the 2023 JUNO Opening Night Awards Presentationby Music Canada Saturday March 11. Canadians coast-to-coast can follow the live stream of the event at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT on Saturday, March 11. Going through, Gem of Radio-Canada and CBC Music Facebook, Twitter, ICT Tac and Youtube pages.

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

“When you love what you do, you forget that you are working” said Ron Sakamoto.I’m so lucky to have had such a rewarding career working with international artists and Canadian talent here for the past 50 years. Year after year, it’s amazing to see Canada’s country music scene evolve and make waves around the world.

Ron Sakamoto

From an early age, Ron had a true entrepreneurial spirit and a deep passion for entertainment. As a teenager, he opened his first “Honeycomb-a-go-go” club in Medicine Hat, Alberta, then operated a booking/management agency that offered him his second club in Lethbridge, Alberta. Sakamoto hustled, working as an accountant during the week, while managing his two clubs at weekends. His love for live music led him to expand his business and open his concert company Gold & Gold Productions Ltd., where Ron was truly the man behind the mask. From booking the numbers to marketing, ticketing, producing and organizing the shows, Ron did it all himself. He had the privilege of organizing Shania Twain’s first tour, “The Come on Over Tour” in 1998.

In 2013, Ron and his partner Paul Biro opened the Sakamoto Agency, a booking and talent agency that offers a roster of some of Canada’s brightest stars. In early 2022, the Sakamoto Agency launched a record label, Sakamoto Music, proudly distributed by Warner Music Canada. After a huge year of giving back to the community with over 300 concerts streamed for free in 2020, the record label launch is another way Ron continues to show off his passion for Canadian music.

Sakamoto’s work goes beyond music. Over the years he has promoted Broadway shows, rodeos, wrestling and monster truck events, horse racing and more. It’s no surprise that the music industry veteran won the Canadian Country Music Awards. Buyer or Talent Promoter of the Year Award for 17 consecutive years.

Sakamoto has also made significant contributions to his community as a philanthropist. In 2010, he and his wife Joyce donated $200,000 to the University of Lethbridge to launch the Joyce & Ron Sakamoto Fellowship for the new Digital Arts and Music program. This donation was matched by the government and has now helped many Albertans stay in their home province to pursue higher education. In 2013, he and his wife, Joyce, donated 28 guitars to Gailbraith Elementary School in Lethbridge to help start their music program. A true glory of his hometown, his commitment to supporting Canadian entertainment is unmatched.

Most recently, Ron received an honorary wall at the ENMAX Center reflecting the impact he has had on the Lethbridge community over the years. The wall highlights Sakamoto’s career and his local, national and international accolades. Later this month, Ron will receive the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal from the Lieutenant Governor in Calgary.

The 52n/a The annual JUNO Awards and JUNO Week will take place in Edmonton from Thursday, March 9 through Monday, March 13, culminating in the JUNO Awards broadcast, produced by Insight ProductionsRogers Place. The show will air and stream live across Canada at 6 p.m. MT/5 p.m. PT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen and worldwide on and CBC Music Facebook, Youtube and Twitter pages.

Tickets for the 2023 JUNO Awards start at $49.00 (taxes included plus fees) and are available for purchase at from Friday 18 November.

For promotional graphics, suggested social copy, logos and more, refer to our Digital toolbox.

Website links:
Official JUNO Awards website:
Sakamoto agency website:

Digital toolbox

Social media:

JUNO Awards
Instagram: @TheJUNOAwards /Twitter: @TheJUNOAwards / Facebook: @TheJUNOAwards /TIC Tac: @TheJUNOAwards / Hashtag: #JUNOS

Sakamoto Agency
Instagram: @SakamotoAgency /Twitter: @SakamotoAgency / Facebook: @SakamotoAgency

Exclusive broadcast and content partner:

CARAS acknowledges the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private broadcasters.

Main Sponsor: TD Bank Group

Main Sponsor: SiriusXM Canada, TikTok and the best hotels in Edmonton

Financial partners: The Province of Alberta, City of Edmonton, Explore Edmonton and Radio Starmaker Fund


The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and improve the Canadian music industry and promote higher artistic and industry standards. CARAS’ mandate includes four key pillars: Educate through our music education charity, MusiCounts, programs and initiatives; Develop emerging artists through mentorship and development programs; To celebrate Canadian artists with JUNO awards featured year-round; and Honor icons of the music industry through the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The 52nd Annual JUNO Awards Broadcast will take place in Edmonton at Rogers Place on Monday, March 13, 2023. For more information on the JUNO Awards or the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), please visit

For interview requests, image requests or additional information, please contact:

Dillon Shaver, rock-it promotions, [email protected]
Cherise Williams, rock-it promotions, [email protected]

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