5 Things You Might Not Know About The iHeartRadio MMVAs

The Much Music Video Awards, which last year became the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards, are a long-standing entertainment awards show that have captivated Canada for decades now. Every year, throngs of screaming fans crowd around the Bell Media headquarters, wristbands in tow, ready to catch the remarkable two-hour production that includes a red carpet, performances, presenters, a big-name host and so much more.

Whether you’ve made it out to one of the many MMVA evenings before, or watched from the comfort of your home, here are five things you might not know about the big night in Canadian pop culture.


The MMVAs began way back in 1990

Did we just hear I wasn’t even born yet whispers ring ’round the country? It’s true—the MMVAs emerged at the get-go of the 90s as the Canadian Music Video Awards, before becoming the Much Music Video Awards in 1995. The Much channel had only been around for six years at that point, and the very first awards show saw performances from major 90s staples like Blue Rodeo, Celine Dion, Maestro Fresh Wes and more. Oh, and the coveted Video of the Year Award went to Cowboy Junkies for “Sun Comes Up (It’s Tuesday Morning).” What a time.


The show wasn’t always in the summer

The MMVAs used to be held in September, however, were shifted in 2001 as the devastating September 11th attacks took place two weeks prior to that year’s scheduled show. Ever since 2001, the awards have taken place in June—typically on Father’s Day.


Building the stage is no small feat

While early years saw performances on site as well as broadcasted from clubs and other locations, over the years, the awards show become even more concentrated on the famous 299 Queen Street headquarters. The on-site stage has gone from big, to bigger, to massive—taking over the entire parking lot, and requiring approximately two weeks to build. Check back in June, you’ll see.


The MMVAs block off a chunk of downtown Toronto

Where does that beautiful red carpet take place, anyway? Right smack dab on John Street, between Richmond and Adelaide. Where do the hundreds of fans spill out of the Much parking lot? On to Queen Street, which is also shut down between John and halfway to Duncan. How do the celebs effortlessly roll up to the red carpet in their car? Via Peter Street—the opposite direction of traffic!—where a lane has been blocked off. These aren’t tiny residential streets; these are high-traffic routes. But, it just goes to show the importance of blocking off space for the sprawling show, and everyone’s safety.


We give away hundreds and hundreds of wristbands each year

In 2016, over 800 wristbands were given away. The more the merrier, amirite? We want as many awesome fans as possible to pack the MMVAs and add to the hugely energetic atmosphere. When the celebs start strutting the red carpet, we want to see those hands reach out—and when the big names take the stage, we want to hear the deafening screams. We can handle it, promise.


See you there.