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Shawn Mendes was the man of the hour accepting the International Achievement Award, Deborah Cox made history as the first Black woman inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame and Charlotte Cardin finished the weekend with a victory lap collecting four trophies at the 51st annual Juno Awards. The event took place in person, for the first time in three years, on Sunday (May 15) at Budweiser Stage in Toronto, Canada.

Hosted by “Shang-Chi” star Simu Liu, Canada’s equivalent to the Grammys featured performances from Avril Lavigne and Arcade Fire, group of the year winners Arkells, Tesher, and more in a joyous evening celebrating the diversity of Canadian music and a return to live events since COVID-19 shut the world down.

“Crazy energy, Toronto,” Liu said. “It’s almost as if you’ve been cooped up for two years.”

That energy was unleashed for Lavigne’s dynamic performance of a medley of hits. Introduced by indigenous artist Tia Wood, Lavigne opened with “Complicated “and also delivered “Skr8Boi” and “I’m With You” to an enthusiastic crowd.

The elation continued for Mendes, who was noticeably moved accepting as the youngest Canadian to win the international achievement award, and then later taking the stage to accept the Juno TikTok Fan Choice award.

“I feel super overwhelmed and honored,” the 23-year-old Mendes said from the stage. “When I was younger, I used to think if I could write one big hit song people would like me and that would be enough. I was enough before anybody knew my name. I am not here to tell you to give up on your dreams. I’m just here to tell you that while you care chasing them, don’t forget to enjoy the process and remember, you are already enough.”

The show opened with a cute video chat between Liu and Michale Buble, who advised Liu never to look Mendes “in the eyeballs.” Liu amped the crowd with an “I am Canadian” monologue that referenced the Maple Leafs, the CN Tower, indigenous cultures, Bubble Tea and a country where “a woman always has the right to choose.”

A history-making win for rapper Haviah Mighty, the first woman in Canadian history to win best rap album of the year for her “Stock Exchange,” set the tone early in the night, with Mighty hoisting her Juno victoriously exclaiming, “This one is for women in hip-hop.”

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Haviah Mighty (CARAS/iPhoto) CARAS/iPhoto

Retired NBA star Chris Bosh was on hand to do honor Cox, who was celebrated with a video including appearances by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Clive Davis and more. Cox took the stage later for a performance of “Beautiful U R.”

“It wasn’t easy to leave my home but it was necessary,” Cox said in her speech. “I’m not sure I’d be standing here this evening. Those rejections became my redirection and only added fuel to my fire.”

In the press room, Liu took questions from reporters clutching a water bottle “like it’s an Oscar.” Also there, Arkells lead singer Max Kerman revealed the band had a rough soundcheck before the evening’s performance, and Mighty embraced her historic win in the rap category, saying “I knew going into it that there is a possibility this would be a bit of history.” Breakthrough artist Jessia talked about the TikTok success of “I’m Not Pretty” and the dance it inspired.

The Junos are, in fact, a two-day affair, and started on Saturday (May 14) with Cardin and The Weeknd taking top honors — the former took home pop album of the year, while the Weeknd, who was not in attendance, won his third Juno for songwriter of the year. Olivia Rodrigo took home top honors for International album of the year, accepting via video.

Nominated for six awards, singer-songwriter Cardin, who released her debut album “Phoenix” last April, bested veterans Justin Bieber and Mendes in a tough category for pop album of the year and taking top prizes for Single of the Year for her single, “Meaningless”–which she performed accompanied by a string arrangement– and Artist of the Year.

“I was not expecting this,” a shocked Cardin — she placed fourth on the Canadian version of “The Voice” in 2013 — said in her acceptance speech after winning for single of the year.

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Charlotte Cardin performs “Meaningless.” (iPhoto/CARAS) CARAS/iPhoto

“I feel like I am a different person, a different artist than I was 10 years ago when I was on that reality show,” said Carden when asked about her journey to the Junos as the most nominated artist of 2022. “I feel like I’ve grown so much as an artist. I feel like I discovered myself in so many ways. The journey has been incredible, It’s a huge honor to even be nominated alongside artists that I love and admire and listen to, but to win those prizes is just fucking amazing.”

She continued: “It was such an honor for a Quebec-based project. It’s so nice that new territories are being explored. It’s always been a goal for us to share music with as many people as possible, and obviously my music is in English so it felt  natural to be able to share that music with the rest of Canada. To win is just icing on the cake.”

Of her decision to perform “Meaningless” at the piano, joined by strings and a full band at the end, Cardin told reporters she “wanted to do a version that was slightly different than what people could hear on the album. … I wanted to start with an intimate moment, because I felt for me that performance was an introduction to my music for a lot of people who were going to be watching in Canada that had no idea who I was.”

History was also made by WondaGurl, producer of records by Drake, Fair Trade (featuring Travis Scott), and others, who won the Jack Richardson producer of the year Award for the second year in a row. In 2021, she was the first woman of color to win the award in Junos history.

Elsewhere, Hill Kourkoutis won recording engineer of the year for her work on Tania Joy’s “The Drought” and SATE’s “Howler,” which she also produced and co-wrote. “I do believe that we are in an immense period of transition right now,” she told reporters. “In the last five years, the conversation has grown around this issue. I am seeing so many young folks and even artists that have been established for a while entering the production profession, so I am hoping personally in 10 years we are not going to have to talk about women producers. We are just going to call them producers, and we are going to reach that gender equality that we are trying to reach right now.”

To that end, 13-year old Kairo McLean won his very first Juno Award for reggae recording of the year for “Easy Now.” Asked about his age. McLean beamed, “My plan is to keep recording and keep getting better from here, this is only the beginning. … It’s such a major milestone.”

Saturday night’s show, hosted by CBC’s Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe and “The Great Canadian Baking Show” star Ann Pornel, included performances by nominees Allison Russell, Roxane Bruneau, Ruby Waters, Valley and Jesse Gold. Multiple Juno winner Dallas Green was also honored, receiving MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award, presented by Ontario Creates. And Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark received the Humanitarian Award at the 2022 Juno Awards for her work providing after-school programs for Indigenous youth.

Here is the complete list of 2022 Juno Awards winners:

Pop Album of the Year
Phoenix, Charlotte Cardin

Reggae Recording of the Year
Easy Now, Kairo McLean

Jazz Album of the Year (group)
Worldview, Avataar

Album Artwork of the Year
Mykaël Nelson, Nicolas Lemieux, Albert Zablit

Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year
Take My Breath, The Weeknd

Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year
War Club, DJ Shub

Jazz Album of the Year (solo)
Change of Plans, Will Bonness

Classical Album of the Year (solo artist)
enargeia, Emily D’Angelo

Jack Richardson Producer of the Year
WondaGurl

Breakthrough Group of the Year
Monowhales

Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year
No Greater Love, The Color

Classical album of the Year (large ensemble)
Solfeggio, L’Harmonie des saisons, conducted by Eric Milnes ft. Hélène Brunet

Single of the Year
Meaningless, Charlotte Cardin

Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award
Denise Jones

Comedy Album of the Year
Grandma’s Girl 姥姥的孩子, Andrea Jin 金玉琪

Dance Recording of the Year
Caution, Kaytranada

Children’s Album of the Year
Falling in Africa, Garth Prince

Instrumental Album of the Year
That Tall Distance, David Myles

Musicounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award
Dallas Green

Alternative Album of the Year
When Smoke Rises, Mustafa

Classical Composition of the Year
Arras, Keiko Devaux

Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year
24hrs, Savannah Ré

Rock Album of the Year
Sisters Not Twins (The Professional Lovers Album), The Beaches

Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
Now Pronouncing: Caity Gyorgy

International Album of the Year
Sour, Olivia Rodrigo

Global Music Album of the Year
Kalasö, Afrikana Soul Sister

Adult Alternative Album of the Year
Inwards & Onwards, Half Moon Run

Humanitarian Award
Susan Aglukark

Country Album of the Year
What Is Life?, Brett Kissel

Francophone Album of the Year
Impossible à aimer, Cœur de pirate

Traditional Roots Album of the Year
Joyful Banner Blazing, Maria Dunn

Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
The Art of Falling Apart, Serena Ryder

Blues Album of the Year
Open Road, Colin James

Classical Album of the Year (small ensemble)
Beethoven: Sonates pour violon et piano/Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 3, & 5, Andrew Wan and Charles Richard-Hamelin

Recording Engineer of the Year
Hill Kourkoutis

Rap Single of the Year
BOLD, Charmaine

Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year
Bleed the Future, Archspire

Electronic Album of the Year
Oasis Sky, TOR

Music Video of the Year
Easy On Me (Adele), Xavier Dolan

Songwriter of the Year
The Weeknd

Contemporary Roots Album of the Year
Outside Child, Allison Russell

Underground Dance Single of the Year
Shadows In The Dark ft. Elliot Moss HNTR

Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year
Kakike, Fawn Wood

Artist of the Year
Charlotte Cardin

Rap Album of the Year
Haviah Mighty

Group of the Year
Arkells.

Canadian Music Hall of Fame
Deborah Cox

International Achievement Award
Shawn Mendes

Breakthrough Artist of the Year
Jessia

Album of the Year
Phoenix, Charlotte Cardin

TikTok Juno Fan Choice
Shawn Mendes

MusicCounts Teacher of the Year
Darren Hamilton