Charlotte Cardin and The Weeknd were among the big winners at the Juno Opening Night Awards in Toronto on Saturday, with over 40 awards in various categories.
Streamed live from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the ceremony was hosted by CBC’s The block presenter Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe and Canadian comedian Ann Pornel. The second night of the Juno Awards will take place on 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’ll keep working hard.”
“It’s the most beautiful gift. There are no words to describe this feeling. I released this album with great, great pride,” she said of her second release.
Toronto singer-songwriter Mustafa, who won an Alternative Album of the Year Juno for When the smoke risesaccepted his award in recognition of the loss of his friends in the Regent Park neighborhood.
“I wrote a record about death, I wrote a record about loss,” he said, adding that it was important for him to document that loss. He also noted being the first black Muslim winner in this category and why we should rethink the “firsts”.
“Being first of anything should now be criticized more than celebrated.”
The artist added that he is in good company in the Canadian songwriting community. “I feel so privileged to come from a legacy – or to be in a nation that has a legacy of great songwriters.”
Toronto’s The Weeknd won two awards, choosing Contemporary R&B Record of the Year for take my breath and songwriter of the year.
The night also included performances by several 2022 Juno Award nominees: Roxane Bruneau, Ruby Waters, Allison Russell and indie band Valley, as well as Jesse Gold, an artist from the 2021-22 Allan Slaight Juno Master Class shortlist.
Tribute to Canada’s Pioneers
It was also a night 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 Canada’s Afro-Caribbean culture.
His sons Jerimi and Jesse, who accepted the award on his behalf, noted that his mother was the true embodiment of hope and was the reason Junos introduced a reggae category in 1985.
“My brother and I stand before you tonight as testimonies of the love, guidance and wisdom bestowed on young people,” Jeremi said.
Juno Award-winning Inuk artist Susan Aglukark received the Humanitarian Award and told CBC News her songwriting and singing were healing.
Aglukark, who grew up in Nunavut, also started the Arctic Rose Foundation, bringing guest artists to schools and creating spaces for Northern Inuit, First Nations and Métis children to make 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 among the most diverse in history, with a handful of newly graduated winners taking the podium to collect their awards.
R&B artist Savannah Ré won the Traditional R&B/Soul Record of the Year award for the second time in a row — the category was only introduced in 2021.
She named Canadian singer-songwriters Melanie Fiona and Deborah Cox as women who helped her throughout her career.
“I’m huge fans of these women and they’ve been nothing but open and welcoming, so I’ll always do the same. I’ll always pay it forward.”
Garth Prince, a Namibian-Canadian musician whose album falling in africa won children’s album of the year, grew up under apartheid in South Africa.
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. This award has now been split in two – one for traditional and one for contemporary.
DJ Shub, the first winner in the latter category, is a former student of electronic group A Tribe Called Red.
Artist Mohawk said his new album war club uses recordings by drummers and singers from their traditional territory, the Six Nations of Grande Rio.
Thirteen-year-old Kairo McLean took home the reggae record of the year for his album easy now. The young musician said his plan is to keep making music and “improve from here”.
“It’s really thanks to people like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh… also my dad. He’s a bass player.”
Below is the complete list of winners:
pop album of the year
Phoenix, Charlotte Cardin
Reggae Record of the Year
easy nowCairo McLean
Jazz Album of the Year (group)
Album art of the year
Mykaël Nelson, Nicolas Lemieux, Albert Zablit
Contemporary R&B Record of the Year
take my breathThe weekend
Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year
war clubDJ Shub
Jazz Album of the Year (solo)
Change of plansWill Bonness
Classic Album of the Year (solo artist)
Jack Richardson Producer of the Year
Innovative group of the year
Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year
no greater loveThe Dream of Colors
Classic Album of the Year (Big Set)
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
grandma’s girl Grandma’s Son Andrea Jin Jin Yuqi
Dance recording of the year
Children’s album of the year
falling in africaGarth Prince
Instrumental album of the year
That high distanceDavid Myles
Musicounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award
Alternative album of the year
When the smoke risesmustafa
Classic composition of the year
Traditional R&B/Soul Record of the Year
24 hoursSavannah Re
rock album of the year
Non-Twin Sisters (The Professional Lovers Album)The beaches
Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
Now pronouncing: Caity Gyorgy
International album of the year
Global Music Album of the Year
FishAfrikana Soul Sister
Adult Alternative Album of the Year
In and forwardHalf Moon Race
Susan I’m opening
country album of the year
What is life?Brett Kissel
Francophone Album of the Year
impossible to lovepirate heart
Traditional Roots Album of the Year
Cheerful flaming bannerMaria Dunn
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 set)
Beethoven: Sonatas for Violin and Piano/Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 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
video clip of the year
easy for me (Adele), Xavier Dolan
composer of the year
Contemporary Roots Album of the Year
Outer SonAllison 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 2022 Juno Awards at 8pm ET on May 15 at CBCmusic.ca/junos, CBC Music Facebook, CBC Music Twitter, CBC Music YouTube, CBC Music TikTok and CBC jewelry.