‘Travel miracle’ gets Arkells to Edmonton to accept record 6th group of the year Juno


Published March 13, 2023 at 1:44 pm

Rock stars such as Max Kerman and his Arkells bandmates know cross-country plane travel in Canada is never a sure thing.

The Hamilton rock quintet experienced what their frontman described as “a travel miracle” to get to the Juno Awards pre-telecast event in Edmonton last weekend, where they received the group of the year Juno for a record sixth time. Kerman, fellow guitarist Mike DeAngelis, bassist Nick Dika, percussionist Tim Oxford, and guitarist-keyboardist Anthony Carone were at the other end of the country in St. John’s, N.L., on the east coast of the island of Newfoundland. It appeared that they were going to be stranded there — but with all due respect to the Allman Brothers Band, there was one way out.

“We just had a crazy 24 hours,” Kerman said in a social media post. “We had a private gig in Newfoundland, We had to get to Edmonton, but all the flights save for one got cancelled. There were only three seats left on the plane so we drew straws. Finally we made it to Edmonton and Tim, Mike, and I accepted the award on behalf of Tony (Carone) and Nick, who proceeded to get wasted on George Street.”

George Street, in downtown St. John’s, is called ‘the wettest street in North America’ for its amount of licensed establishments.

Google Maps says it would take 69 hours to drive between the two provincial capitals. St. John’s and Edmonton are 6,100 km and four time zones — or 3½ — apart. Saturday night was also when Daylight Savings Time began, with clocks moving ahead one hour.

The Canadian Press described Kerman as “sleep-deprived” as he, DeAngelis and Oxford did the awards-show whirl. Kerman told the wire service that “it’s important to show support… We have a really good life as musicians and I think showing up is part of being part of the community.”

Arkells first won the group of the year Juno in 2012, won again in 2015 and ’19, and have won in each of the past three years.

Around 40 awards were presented at the pre-telecast Junos on Saturday. The event was cohosted by comic actor Andrew Phung, whose CBC series Run The ‘Burbs films in Hamilton. His fellow Kim’s Convenience alumnus, Simu Liu, is hosting the telecast Junos on Monday night.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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