Diana Krall, Michael Bublé and A Tribe Called Red among early Juno 2018 winners

Michael Bublé, A Tribe Called Red and Diana Krall are among early Juno winners at a private industry ceremony Saturday evening in Vancouver.

Thirty six Juno Awards were handed out to Canadian musicians ahead of the main show Sunday.

Bublé took home adult contemporary album of the year, A Tribe Called Red won group of the year and Krall won producer of the year and vocal jazz album of the year for Turn Up The Quiet.

The Beaches — an all-female Toronto band — took home breakthrough group of the year.

The Beaches

The Beaches won breakthrough group of the year. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Backstage, group members said when they battled stereotypes when they first started performing.

“People assumed we were fans, but we were headlining. That doesn’t happen anymore which is cool,” said guitarist Kylie Miller.

Nick Fiorucci won best dance recording for Closer and Claire Boucher, known by her stage name Grimes, won video of the year for Venus Fly, featuring Janelle Monae. Kendrick Lamar’s Damn won international album of the year.

Family accepts award for Gord Downie

Gord Downie, the late Tragically Hip frontman, won adult alternative album of the year posthumously. His brothers, Patrick and Mike, accepted the award.

Mike Downie said the warm, widespread response to his brother’s death “makes a big country into a smaller community and perhaps even a family.”

He also advocated for more attention on Indigenous issues.

“I can feel it, this country is changing,” he said. “And it’s changing for the better.”


High achievers

A number of achievement awards were also handed out, including to Grammy-winning rock band Arcade Fire.

Régine Chassagne paid tribute to the group’s home base of Montreal, while her husband, Win Butler, acknowledged the mass protests Saturday which took place across the U.S. and elsewhere calling for gun control.

“I just want to give a shoutout to our brothers and sisters down south,” Butler said onstage. “Canada is just such a beautiful example of how it doesn’t have to be like that.”

Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and Denise Donlon, who began on-air as a MuchMusic TV personality before becoming the first female president of Sony Music Canada, also received awards.

Philanthropist and music industry heavyweight Gary Slaight received a humanitarian award and standing ovation. 

Backstage drama

Rapper k-os was supposed to present the award to Slaight alongside Kim Stockwood but was late to the stage.

As he was racing to make his slot and possibly ignored protocol, CBC radio host Grant Lawrence tweeted from the gala that the musician was “dive tackled by three security guards as he sprinted full speed to the stage.”

The top Juno awards will be presented Sunday during a live broadcast hosted by Bublé​ on CBC-TV, CBC Radio One and CBC Music beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. It will also be livestreamed at cbcmusic.ca/junos.

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