The emotional reunion of Barenaked Ladies with Steven Page, Michael Bublé’s return to the stage and a surprise rap collaboration were among the top moments at an uplifting Juno Awards ceremony held Sunday in Vancouver.
The Barenaked Ladies and former lead vocalist Steven Page were visibly emotional after being recognized onstage for their induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
“To our fans, your passion for our music and our shows continues to astound us,” said singer-songwriter and guitarist Ed Robertson. “Thanks to Steve for starting this journey with me and to the guys for continuing it.”
The group, which found major success in the 1990s and early 2000s with songs such as Pinch Me and Old Apartment, reunited with Page for a highly anticipated, one-time performance together after he left the band nine years ago.
They sang two of their hits, One
Gord Downie, the late frontman of The Tragically Hip, won
His brothers, Patrick and Mike Downie, accepted the award and used the opportunity to promote Gord Downie’s commitment to Indigenous communities.
“He wanted a country that was equitable and inclusive,” said Mike Downie. “And right now we have an incredible opportunity to do just that, for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together like never before, change who we think we are, create a new country and a new Canada.”
Arcade Fire, who took home album of the year for Everything Now, also shared inspirational words.
“I just hope that we can all rise above negativity in our lives and just do what we believe in,” singer-songwriter Win Butler told the audience. “Speak your truth. Don’t be afraid.”
Other winners included: Shawn Mendes for fan choice, Tory Lanez for rap recording of the year, Daniel Caesar for R&B/soul recording of the year and Jessie Reyez for breakthrough artist of the year.
Reyez, whose powerful performance of Figures was one of the most memorable of the night, told media backstage afterwards that she’ll be releasing a new version of the song with Caesar, who had joined her onstage.
The rap recording of the year award was presented by Red1, Misfit, Kardinal Offishall, Checkmate, Thrust and Choclair, who appeared on the seminal 1998 track Northern Touch.
The track from the Rascalz’ album Cash Crop became one of the most successful hip-hop songs in Canadian history.
The musicians broke out into a rendition of the iconic song while on stage together.
Speaking up for women
Revered singer and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie was one of the few artists who spoke candidly during the broadcast about representation in music.
“It’s time for women to be recognized for our accomplishments and our value to this industry,” said Sainte-Marie.
She added: “Because it’s not here yet.”
Bublé breaks silence
Singer Michael Bublé, who hosted the evening, performed alongside jazz artist Diana Krall after a two-year hiatus from the stage. In 2016, he asked for privacy after his eldest son, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer at age three.
The musician’s wife, actress Luisana Lopilato, is now expecting their third child. Bublé told CBC News before the awards show that performing in his home city with his family and friends in the audience would be “emotional.”
“Going through what I’ve gone through has given me a lot of perspective,” he said on the Juno Awards red carpet. “I know what’s important for me and that’s my family and having integrity in my life.”
Despite the personal struggles, Bublé was upbeat and lighthearted on stage. He joked about the trajectory many nominees could take.
“I guarantee within four years, those same young acts will be the international megastars that won’t come home and do the Junos.”
For a full list of 2018 Juno Award winners, click here and check out the photo gallery from the red carpet below.