Simu Liu, the star of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Kim’s Convenience alum, will host the 2022 Juno Awards, organizers announced Wednesday.
Liu will return to his hometown of Toronto for the May 15 show — the Junos’ first in-person ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the event in 2020, before it moved to a digital format last year.
“It’s an absolute honour to be hosting the 51st annual Juno Awards,” Liu was quoted as saying in a news release. “Canadian entertainment and culture hold a very important place in my heart and getting the chance to experience the festivities in my hometown makes the experience even more special to me.”
Liu is fresh off the success of Shang-Chi, the first movie in the most recent phase of Marvel’s superhero movie franchise to debut a new character.
The movie represented a risk for Marvel after most of its reliable stable of superstar talent left the series following the release of Avengers: Endgame, and the success of the franchise rested largely on the shoulders of Shang-Chi — and Liu.
The movie earned more than $400 million US worldwide and smashed COVID-stagnant box office records. It also earned Liu a People’s Choice Award for action movie star of the year, a host spot on Saturday Night Live, and cemented him as one of the breakout Canadian stars of 2021.
To guard against the numerous postponements that plagued the Junos over the past two years, organizers booked the open-air Budweiser Stage at Ontario Place for this year’s televised show.
It will broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and CBC Listen, and globally at CBCMusic.ca/junos and CBC Music’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.
Nominations will be announced on March 1, and tickets go on sale March 4 at 10 a.m. ET.