The Hamilton Spectator

Arkells earns sixth group of the year title

The Weeknd wins big at pre-telecast Junos


The Weeknd has another armful of Juno Awards for his shelf this year, but the Canadian superstar didn’t show up in Edmonton to accept them.

Despite cleaning up in all four categories where he was nominated — including artist of the year — the Toronto pop singer was nowhere to be found at a Junos pre-telecast event on Saturday where most awards are handed out.

The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, also pocketed single of the year for “Sacrifice,” pop album for “Dawn FM” and songwriter of the year for many hits he cowrote for the album.

He was up for another two Junos on last night’s broadcast: album of the year and the fan choice award voted on by viewers.

Other musicians vaulted obstacles to make the Junos, including members of Arkells who battled flight cancellati­ons in Newfoundla­nd. Three of them made flights in time to win their sixth group of the year honour.

“I think it’s important to show support,” explained a sleep-deprived Max Kerman. “We have a really good life as musicians and I think showing up is part of being part of the community.”

Kerman nodded to Arkells’ keyboardis­t Anthony Carone and bassist Nick Dika who he said were still without a flight in Newfoundla­nd and knocking back drinks at a local pub.

Celebratin­g in person had a special meaning for Tenille Townes, who found it took a moment for her second career Juno win to sink in. The Grande Prairie, Alta.-raised singer-songwriter’s “Masquerade­s” was named best country album.

Her previous Juno came during the height of the pandemic when the awards show was virtual, which meant she watched the show from a laptop at home.

“It definitely feels real on a whole other level,” she said.

“Being able to land here and celebrate this with the community of Canadian music is something that really means a lot.”

Toronto band the Sadies marked a bitterswee­t victory as “Colder Streams” won the adult alternativ­e album award. The record was their final with singer and guitarist Dallas Good, who died last year at 48.

“It’s a strange feeling under the circumstan­ces,” Travis Good, his brother and band mate, explained as he held back tears.

“I was super excited — and the moment they called our name I thought I was going to start crying. I felt overwhelmi­ngly sad.”

Offering a more upbeat moment, 14- year-old performer Kairo McLean took a victory lap after making history as the youngest winner of the reggae recording category last year.

He shared his second Juno with Kirk Diamond and Finn for the song “Reggae Party.”

“These guys are the ones who set the pace,” McLean said in a tip of the hat to his elder collaborat­ors.

Montreal singer Rêve won dance recording of the year for her hit single “CTRL + ALT + DEL,” a recognitio­n she called both inspiring and a signal to keep making music.

“I’ve cycled (through) everything, from the service industry to interestin­g writing jobs,” she reflected.

“Everything was a means to an end because this was my passion.”

The pre-telecast Junos saw more than 40 awards handed out at the Edmonton Convention Centre with “Run the Burbs” star Andrew Phung and CBC Music’s Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe co-hosting the event.

Other winners included Digging Roots who scored the contempora­ry Indigenous artist or group award, while the Bearhead Sisters were named traditiona­l Indigenous artist or group.

The headline Juno Awards show aired Monday night on CBC and CBC Gem, hosted by Simu Liu with performanc­es from Tate McRae, Tenille Townes and Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees Nickelback.

The show was bumped from its original Sunday airdate to make way for the Oscars.

 ?? JASON FRANSON THE CANADIAN PRESS ?? Arkells pose with an award for group of the year during the Juno Awards in Edmonton on Saturday.
JASON FRANSON THE CANADIAN PRESS Arkells pose with an award for group of the year during the Juno Awards in Edmonton on Saturday.

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