Diana Krall celebrates her Junos for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year and Producer of the Year at the Juno Gala Dinner and Awards show in Vancouver, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Gord Downie and Diana Krall win two awards each at non-televised Juno gala

Pipelines, anti-gun protests and more political issues took the spotlight

Gord Downie and Diana Krall both emerged double winners at Saturday’s Juno Awards pre-telecast ceremony in a night that carried a number of political and social undercurrents.

Some musicians took time to recognize the huge protests against gun violence in the United States earlier in the day, which captured headlines and left some musicians voicing their support.

“I just want to give a shout out to all of our brothers and sisters down South that are protesting today — protesting gun laws,” said Arcade Fire’s Win Butler as he accepted the international achievement award.

“Canada is a beautiful example of how it doesn’t have to be like that.”

Downie’s brother Mike spoke about awareness of Indigenous issues as he accepted a win for “Introduce Yerself,” the final album of the Tragically Hip frontman. Gord Downie also shared a songwriter win for the album.

“There’s a ribbon of Indigeneity running right down the middle of our flag,” Mike said while standing alongside his brother Patrick.

“This country’s changing, and it’s changing for the better.”

Krall came away with two awards for her album “Turn Up the Quiet.” She scored vocal jazz album and the producer of the year award.

Denise Donlon, a former MuchMusic VJ in the 1980s, received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for a career that also includes years as a record industry executive.

In her speech she addressed the lack of female representation in the music industry, which has been a much-discussed subject in recent years at the Junos. She finished by calling on men in the audience to rise from their chairs as a symbolic commitment of support for more women in music.

“I really did feel like we’re actually starting to move the needle a little bit on this,” Donlon said afterwards, acknowledging the idea was partly inspired by Frances McDormand’s rousing Oscar speech on “inclusion riders.”

Other winners included Michael Buble, who hosts the televised Junos show on Sunday. He took home adult contemporary album for “Nobody But Me.”

The Shawn Mendes hit ”There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” won single of the year, though he was absent from the event.

Ivan Decker became the first comedy album winner in 33 years with ”I Wanted to Be a Dinosaur.” The prize was last given in 1984 to Bob and Doug McKenzie — the pair of iconic beer swigging hosers played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas.

“Obviously Bob and Doug were too good, they were just going to have to give it to them every year,” Decker said in pondering why the award might’ve been shelved for years.

“Last time it was given away I wasn’t even born.”

Fred Penner snagged children’s album of the year for “Hear the Music,” his collaborative project that features appearances by Canadian artists including Basia Bulat and Ron Sexsmith.

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s politically charged album of songs about unity and resistance, “Medicine Songs,” won the Indigenous music album award.

Bruce Cockburn’s “Bone on Bone,” which dabbled in political commentary at times, grabbed contemporary roots album.

Kendrick Lamar scored the international album of the year award for “Damn,” after the rapper lost to Bruno Mars a couple months ago at the Grammys. The point wasn’t lost on Arcade Fire’s Butler who brought it up on stage and in the media room.

“I just wanted to say that I’m really happy Kendrick won too,” Butler said.

“It was (expletive) that he lost at the Grammys.”

Sunday night’s televised show will hand out the remaining awards, including album, group and breakthrough artist as well as country album of the year.

Viewers can also vote for the Juno Fan Choice Award on the Juno Fan Choice website.

The show airs on CBC and streams through the CBC Music website.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Elkford ED closure “unusual”

The 24-hour closure of the Elkford emergency department has been described as an “unusual situation”.

Two fires of note burning in Southeast Fire Centre

As of Saturday afternoon there were more than 20 fires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre.

Fires highlight need for more volunteers

Short-staffed volunteer fire departments in Elk Valley, South Country rely on mutual aid

Motorcyclist grateful to be alive, thanks fellow drivers

Over a dozen people stopped to assist Lori Hann after she tumbled off her bike on Hwy 3, Saturday

Local athletes ready for BC Summer Games

Twenty-four athletes from the Elk Valley and South Country will compete at the 2018 BC Summer Games.

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

The Free Press editor wins awards

Editor Phil McLachlan has been recognized at the 2018 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards.

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Most Read