The Beaches on tour, opening act for the Rolling Stones and the Junos

Charlotte Cardin must know how Cinderella feels.

After scooping three awards at the industry gala dinner on Saturday, the Montreal singer and songwriter cemented her Juno Awards Ballroom Belle status as she ranked it four out of six with her Album-nominated “Phoenix.” of the year at Sunday’s ceremony is the first to be held in front of a live crowd since before the pandemic.

“I’m completely shocked,” said Cardin, who also performed “Meaningless” earlier in the program.

The weekend’s other big Juno winners were The Weeknd – who didn’t attend, with Songwriter and Contemporary R&B/Soul Recording of the Year – and Shawn Mendes, who did, was named the winner of the TikTok Juno Fan Choice Award as well as the International Achievement Award.

“Fans are everything,” he said as he accepted the Fan Choice Award. “I can do my favorite thing in life and it’s thanks to you guys.”

All in all, it was two hours of musical highlights, hosted by Simu Liu – of “Kim’s Convenience” and Marvel’s “Shang-Chi” – that proved to be both entertaining and charismatic.

Liu opened the show with a salute to all things Canadian, channeling the infamous “I am a Canadian” ad campaign, “Canada is a place where the government is also our drug dealer…where women have always have the right to choose,” he said. . “In Canada, you really can have anything but affordable housing. It’s difficult.

Of course, the evening was all about the music – and the moving performances of A-list music stars Arcade Fire, Arkells, Mustafa, performing in a body armor marked “Poet”, and Avril Lavigne, who performed a mix of hits that included “Complicated” and “Sk8ter Boi”.

One of the most glamorous highlights of the evening was the induction of Deborah Cox into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. After being introduced by former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh, Cox was feted by international stars Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, esteemed record executive Clive Davis – who signed her to her first recording contract – and local stars Russell Peters, Melanie Fiona and Glenn Lewis, Cox took the stage to express her gratitude.

“Many have embarked on a career in music, but only a few have landed here,” Cox said. “Growing up as a young black girl in Toronto, Canada, that vision seemed impossible. It was not easy to leave my house, but it was necessary. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d be here tonight.

“These rejections became my redirect and only added fuel to my fire.”

Later, she wowed the approximately 8,000 people in attendance with a medley of songs including “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here”, “Who Do You Love” and “Beautiful UR”.

Another highlight was Shawn Mendes winning the International Achievement Award.

“I really thought that if I could write just one big hit, some people would like me, and then I would be enough,” Mendes said. “We are taught to believe that what we achieve is the same as what we are worth. But something I know to be true now is that I was enough before anyone knew my name.

“I’m just here to tell you that as you chase your dreams, remember to enjoy the process. And remember, you are enough already.

Toronto’s Haviah Mighty won Rap Album/EP of the Year for her ‘Stock Exchange’ mixtape – the first woman to win the award.

“It’s for all women in hip-hop,” Mighty said as she accepted her award.

British Columbia pop singer Jessia was named Breakthrough Artist and Darren Hamilton of David Suzuki High School in Brampton was named MusiCounts Teacher of the Year. Arkells accepted band of the year honors, although Max Kerman admitted backstage that they were a little nervous talking to some of their musical heroes during rehearsals.

“I just talked to Win Butler from Arcade Fire – he’s a hero,” admitted Kerman. “I had conversations with Mustafa and Charlotte Cardin to get a feel for songwriting.”

While the evening was all about the awards, it was the performances that were the highlight.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids and DJ Shub blew the roof off with a medley of “War Club,” “Rebirth” and “Uncle Rico,” filled with a colorful assortment of hoop dancers and other native performers. And $bbno led an army of Smurf-capped musicians for memorable renditions of “Lalala” and “edamame.”

Arcade Fire capped off a glorious evening with a smoldering version of “Unconditional 1 (Lookout Kid),” featuring students from Sistema Toronto, a charity that provides free music education to young people in underserved communities.

Meanwhile, at the Toronto Convention Center on Saturday night, the majority of the awards were handed out: 40 trophies and three special honors in all.

With 1,400 music industry members and guests in attendance, the three-and-a-half-hour program focused on diversity and gender parity which the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences done the mission for the past few years.

A new category has been introduced — Underground Single of the Year — while two others have been expanded: rap is now represented by Single of the Year and Album/EP of the Year, and Indigenous music now has Contemporary and Traditional categories Artist of the Year.

There were also several firsts: Hill Kourkoutis of Toronto, the first woman nominated in the Sound Engineer of the Year category, also became the first to win; and Regent Park’s Mustafa Ahmed was the first black Muslim to win a Juno for Alternative Album of the Year for “When Smoke Rises.”

Ahmed used his moment on the podium to deliver a sobering message.

“I wrote a dossier about the loss – about the loss of friends in Regent Park. And I had to because they were destroying my community, I realized in that moment that the only people who were going to be able to documenting the memories of my friends were the people who knew them I watched Canadian publications announce the deaths of my friends using mug shots, descriptors being dated criminal records, and I knew then that I had to rewrite their memories.

“I’m not going to talk about the fact that I’m the first black Muslim to receive this award. I think being first of all should now be criticized more than celebrated.

A light Juno moment happened when Caity Gyorgy (pronounced Caity George) won her first award in the Vocal Jazz Album of the Year category for “Now Pronouncing: Caity Gyorgy.”

After expressing his gratitude to a host of supporters, Gyorgy said winning a Juno was kind of in the cards.

“In 2016, I graduated from high school and was voted ‘Most Likely to Win a Juno’ in my high school yearbook,” said Gyorgy, who splits her time between Toronto and Montreal.

“I’m so glad it happened!” »

An intriguing moment also occurred when 13-year-old Kairo McLean won the Reggae Recording of the Year category for “Easy Now” and paid tribute to the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

Other local winners include Avataar (jazz album of the year for “Worldview;”) Emily D’Angelo (classical album of the year – solo artist for “enargeia”); Ebony “WondaGurl” Oshunrinde for Producer of the Year, his second straight win; Monowhales for Revolutionary Group of the Year; Savannah Ré (Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for “24 Hours;”) The Beaches (Rock Album of the Year for “Sisters Not Twins (The Professional Lovers Album)”;) Serena Ryder, her seventh Juno, for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year (“The Art Of Falling Apart;”) Charmaine for “BOLD” – Rap Single of the Year and HNTR for Underground Dance Single of the Year for “Shadows In the Dark ft. Elliot Moss”.

A trio of Special Achievement Awards were also presented, as Dallas Green received the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Awards for donating to the MusiCounts program, which equips musical instrument schools across Canada.

Susan Aglukark, a three-time Juno winner and raised in Arviat, Nunavut, received the humanitarian award for her Arctic Rose Foundation, which promotes arts-based after-school programs in three Nunavut communities and helps youth Northern Inuit, First Nations and Métis to express their culture through art and other projects.

Brampton impresario Denise Jones received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, named after the founder of the music weekly RPM and the Juno Awards themselves, for championing black Caribbean culture in Canada, particularly reggae music.

Jones, who notably promoted Afro-Caribbean culture through Jones and Jones Productions, was represented by her sons Jesse and Jerimi.

“His dedication to championing our beloved Afro-Caribbean culture and the many examples of artistic and business excellence that exist within our community have resulted in the creation of well-known achievements, such as the creation of the Junos Reggae category; the founding of Jambana/One World Festival; the second largest Afro-centric cultural event in Canada – and the building of frameworks and infrastructure that many in our industry have continued to benefit from,” said Jesse.

The 52nd Junos are to be held in Edmonton on March 12, 2023.

Joshua Chong is a reporter in Toronto for the Star. Contact Joshua by email:

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