Charlotte Cardin and The Weeknd were among the big winners of the Juno Opening Night Awards in Toronto on Saturday, as more than 40 awards were presented in different categories.
Streamed live from the Metro Toronto Convention Center, the ceremony was attended by CBC’s The block host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe and Canadian comedian Ann Pornel. The second night of the Juno Awards will take place Sunday night and will be broadcast live on CBC.
Cardin from Montreal won three awards, including Single of the Year, Pop Album of the Year for phoenix and artist of the year. Cardin also had the most nominations of the night.
“This is so special to me,” she said after winning Artist of the Year. “I keep working so hard.”
“It’s the most beautiful gift. There are no words to describe that feeling. I released that album because I was very, very proud,” she said of her second release.
Toronto singer-songwriter Mustafa, who won a Juno for Alternative Album of the Year for When smoke risesaccepted his award by acknowledging the loss of his friends near Regent Park.
“I wrote a record on death, I wrote a record on loss,” he said, adding that it was important for him to document this loss. He also noted that he was the first black Muslim winner in this category and why we should rethink “firsts”.
“Being first of all should now be criticized more than celebrated.”
The artist added that he is in good company within the Canadian songwriting community. “I feel so privileged to come from a legacy — or to be in a country with such a legacy of great songwriters.”
Toronto’s The Weeknd took home two awards, winning Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year for take my breath and songwriter of the year†
The evening also featured performances from several Juno Award 2022 nominees: Roxane Bruneau, Ruby Waters, Allison Russell and indie band Valley, as well as Jesse Gold, a 2021-22 Allan Slaight Juno Master Class shortlist.
In honor of Canada’s pioneers
It was also an evening to recognize some of Canada’s most prolific names in music. Denise Jones, who passed away in 2020, was honored with the 2022 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for championing Canadian Afro-Caribbean culture.
Her sons Jerimi and Jesse, who accepted the award on her behalf, noted that their mother was the true embodiment of hope and was the reason the Junos introduced a reggae category in 1985.
“My brother and I stand before you tonight as testimonies of what love, guidance and wisdom looks like that is poured into young people,” said Jeremi.
Juno Award-winning Inuk artist Susan Aglukark received the Humanitarian Award and told CBC News her songwriting and singing were healing.
Growing up in Nunavut, Aglukark also founded the Arctic Rose Foundation, brought guest artists to schools, and created spaces for Northern Inuit, First Nations, and Métis children to create art in after-school programs.
“I just know how lucky I was. This wasn’t the plan when I moved here – and look!”
A diverse list of winners
This year’s Juno nominees list was one of the most diverse in history, with a handful of newly minted winners taking the podium to receive their awards.
R&B artist Savannah Ré won Traditional R&B/soul recording of the year for the second consecutive time – the category was not introduced until 2021.
She identified Canadian singer-songwriters Melanie Fiona and Deborah Cox as women who have helped her throughout her career.
“I’m big fans of these women and they’ve just been open and welcoming, so I’ll always do the same. I’ll always pay it in advance.”
Garth Prince, a Namibian-Canadian musician whose album Fall in Africa won for children’s album of the year, grew up under apartheid in South Africa.
The songs inspired by that experience resonate with Canadians and people around the world who are losing their language and culture to colonialism, he said.
At previous Juno Awards, there was only one category for indigenous music. That price has now been split in two: one for traditional and one for contemporary.
DJ Shub, the very first winner in the latter category, is an alumnus of electronic group A Tribe Called Red.
The Mohawk artist said his new album war club uses recordings from drummers and singers from its traditional territory, the Six Nations of the Grand River.
Thirteen-year-old Kairo McLean took home the reggae recording of the year for his album Easy now† The young musician said his plan is to keep making music and “get better from here”.
“It’s really thanks to people like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh … my dad too. He’s a bass player.”
Below is a full list of winners:
Pop album of the year
Phoenix, Charlotte Cardin
Reggae recording of the year
Easy nowCairo McLean
Jazz album of the year (group)
Album artwork of the year
Mykaël Nelson, Nicolas Lemieux, Albert Zablit
Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year
take my breathThe weekend
Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year
war clubDJ Shubo
Jazz album of the year (solo)
Changed plansWill Bonnes
Classic Album of the Year (solo artist)
Jack Richardson Producer of the Year
Breakthrough Group of the Year
Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year
No greater loveThe color dream
Classic Album of the Year (Large Ensemble)
solfege, The Harmony of the Seasons, conducted by Eric Milnes ft. Helen Brunet
Single of the year
Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award
Comedy album of the year
granny’s girl Grandma’s Child, Andrea Jin Jin Yuqi
Dance recording of the year
Children’s album of the year
Fall in AfricaGarth Prince
Instrumental album of the year
That great distanceDavid Myles
Musiccounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award
Alternative album of the year
When smoke risesMustafa
Classic composition of the year
Traditional R&B/soul recording of the year
24 hoursSavannah Re
Rock album of the year
Sisters Not Twins (The Professional Lovers Album)The beaches
Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
Now pronounced: Caity Gyorgy
International album of the year
Worldwide Music Album of the Year
FishAfrican Soul Sister
Alternative Adult Album of the Year
In and beyondHalf Moon Run
Susan I’m opening
Country album of the year
What is life?Brett Kissel
French album of the year
Impossible to lovepirate heart
Traditional roots album of the year
Joyful Banner BlazingMaria Dunno
Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
The art of falling apartSerena Ryder
Blues album of the year
open roadColin James
Classic Album of the Year (Small Ensemble)
Beethoven: Sonatas for Violin and Piano/Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 3, & 5Andrew Wan and Charles Richard-Hamelin
Recording Engineer of the Year
Rap single of the year
Metal/hard music album of the year
Bleed the futureArchspire
Electronic album of the year
Music video of the year
easy for me (Adele), Xavier Dolan
Songwriter of the Year
Contemporary roots album of the year
outside childAllison Russell
Underground dance single of the year
Shadows in the dark ft. Elliot Moss HNTR
Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year
Artist of the year
Watch the Juno Awards 2022 at 8 p.m. ET on May 15 at CBCmusic.ca/junos† CBC Music Facebook† CBC Music Twitter† CBC Music YouTube† CBC Music TikTok and CBC Gem†