The Weeknd picks up 4 wins on Junos 2023 opening night

In this image released on May 23, The Weeknd performs for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on May 23, 2021 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Calif. (Rich Fury/Getty Images - image credit)
In this image released on May 23, The Weeknd performs for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on May 23, 2021 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Calif. (Rich Fury/Getty Images - image credit)

The 2023 Juno Awards kicked off Saturday in Edmonton, where 40 awards were handed out to Canada's top musical artists.

The ceremony — which came ahead of Monday night's main event — was emceed by Run The Burbs star and co-creator Andrew Phung and CBC Music radio host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe.

The Weeknd took home multiple awards. He won artist of the year; songwriter of the year and pop album of the year for Dawn FM; and single of the year for Sacrifice. The global superstar wasn't in the room to accept the awards, though he leads the 2023 Juno nominations with six nods. He previously won artist of the year in 2015, 2016 and 2021.

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

Tenille Townes, who won the evening's first award — country album of the year for Masquerades — spoke backstage, recalling the first time she attended the Juno Awards 19 years ago as an audience member. She said she dreamt of being onstage one day.

"[I] watched and just dreamed of how cool it could be to be a part of the show someday, so I'm feeling all the full-circle vibes," she told CBC News.

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

Other early winners included Montreal singer-songwriter Rêve, and producer duo Banx and Ranx.

Rêve was backstage after winning dance recording of the year when she found out that the latter duo — who she collaborated with last year — won the award for breakthrough group of the year. She let out an enthusiastic shriek.

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

"I was waiting for that!" she said of her fellow Montreal musicians. "We're so freaking proud of each other. And they just took home a Juno. So we love, we love that."

The last time they won a Juno Award in 2010, Digging Roots consisted only of husband and wife duo Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish. But their win on Saturday is "far sweeter, because we brought our son [Skye] on the journey," Kanatakta told CBC News. The trio won contemporary Indigenous artist or group of the year for their album Zhawenim.

"The way that we create music, the three of us ... we have the family vibe, but at the same time, Skye brings all of this rhythm, rhythm from the land, and just informs where the songs are gonna go," Kanatakta added.

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

Alexisonfire hadn't made an album since 2009 before 2022's Otherness, which won the band rock album of the year. While the rockers joked that they had indeed set out to make a Juno Award-winning album, the band's bassist Chris Steele said Saturday's win is their most meaningful.

"We've been a band for almost 22 years and with the history and the depth and the emotional weight, I feel like we've always had each other to lean on," Steele said, noting that they produced the album in Hamilton during a winter storm. "Through thick and thin, we've been through a lot together. And I think this record, Otherness, is a reflection of that."

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

Fourteen-year-old musician Kairo McLean won the reggae recording of the year for the second year in a row, alongside Kirk Diamond and Finn for their track Reggae Party. During his acceptance speech, Diamond called McLean "the future of reggae in Canada."

"The knowledge that Kairo has at 14, a lot of people at 70 [don't] have," Diamond told CBC News backstage after the win. "To be able to do the calibre of reggae that he does at this age, he's only going to get better the older he gets."

Simu Liu is back to host the 2023 Juno Awards on Monday, March 13, at 8 p.m. ET. Tune in on CBC, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One and CBC Listen, and stream globally on

A full list of winners announced Saturday can be found below:

Country album of the year:
Tenille Townes, Masquerades
High Valley, Way Back
Jade Eagleson, Honkytonk Revival
Orville Peck, Bronco 
The Reklaws, Good Ol' Days

Underground dance single of the year:
Greg Gow, I Knew Techno 
Bensley, Debonair
Blond:ish and Cameron Jack, Aye Aye
Fred Everything, The Time Is (Now)
Tiga, Easy 

Jazz album of the year:
Renee Rosnes, Kinds of Love,
Ernesto Cervini, Joy
Lauren Falls, A Little Louder Now
Luis Deniz, El Tinajon
Rafael Zaldivar, Rumba

Adult alternative album of the year:
The Sadies, Colder Streams
Altameda, Born Losers
Basia Bulat, The Garden
Dan Mangan, Being Somewhere
The Weather Station, How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars

Dance recording of the year:
Rêve, Ctrl + Alt + Del
Bob Moses and Kasablanca, Afterglow
Grimes, Shinigami Eyes
Loud Luxury feat. Kiddo, These Nights
Rezz, Spiral

Contemporary roots album of the year:
The Bros. Landreth,
Come Morning
Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, O Glory
Fortunate Ones, That Was You and Me
Shakura S'Aida, Hold on to Love
The East Pointers, House of Dreams

International album of the year:
Harry Styles,
Harry's House
Ed Sheeran, =
Lil Nas X, Montero
Taylor Swift, Midnights
Taylor Swift, Red (Taylor's Version)

Contemporary Indigenous artist or group of the year:
Digging Roots,
Aysanabee, Watin
Indian City, Code Red
Julian Taylor, Beyond the Reservoir
Susan Aglukark, The Crossing

Breakthrough group of the year:
Banx & Ranx
Harm & Ease
Rare Americans
Tommy Lefroy
Wild Rivers

Traditional Indigenous artist or group of the year:

The Bearhead Sisters, Unbreakable
Cikwes, kâkîsimo ᑳᑮᓯᒧᐤ
Iva & Angu, Katajjausiit
Joel Wood, Mikwanak Kamôsakinat
Northern Cree, Ôskimacîtahowin: A New Beginning

Adult contemporary album of the year:
Michael Bublé, Higher 
Francois Klark, Adventure Book
Jann Arden, Descendant
Marc Jordan & Amy Sky, He Sang She Sang
Tyler Shaw, A Tyler Shaw Christmas

Classical album of the year (small ensemble):
Elinor Frey and Rosa Barocca, conducted by Claude Lapalme, Early Italian Cello Concertos
Andrew Balfour and musica intima, Nagamo
ARC Ensemble, Hemsi: Chamber Works
Collectif9, Vagues et ombres
Suzie LeBlanc, Marie Nadeau-Tremblay, Vincent Lauzer, and Sylvain Bergeron, De la cour de Louis XIV à Shippagan! Chants traditionnels acadiens et airs de cour du XVIIe siècle

Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award:
Ron Sakamoto

Reggae recording of the year:
Kirk Diamond, Kairo McLean and Finn feat. Kairo McLean, Reggae Party
Ammoye, Water
Celena, Like a Star
Exco Levi, Jah Love
Kairo McLean, In the Streets

Classical album of the year (solo artist):
Philip Chiu,
Bruce Liu, Winner of the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition Warsaw 2021
David Jalbert, Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1
Isabel Bayrakdarian, La Zingarella: Through Romany Songland
James Ehnes, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

Classical album of the year (solo artist):
Philip Chiu,
Bruce Liu, Winner of the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition Warsaw 2021
David Jalbert, Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1
Isabel Bayrakdarian, La Zingarella: Through Romany Songland
James Ehnes, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

Traditional roots album of the year:
Pharis & Jason Romero, Tell 'Em You Were Gold
Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, Hurricane Clarice
Le Vent du Nord, 20 printemps
Mama's Broke, Narrow Line
The McDades, The Empress

Comedy album of the year:
Jon Dore, A Person Who is Gingerbread
Courtney Gilmour, Let Me Hold Your Baby
Jackie Pirico, Splash Pad
Matt Wright, Here Live, Not a Cat
Zabrina Douglas, Things Black Girls Say — the Album

Instrumental album of the year:
Esmerine, Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More
Canadian Brass, Canadiana
Hard Rubber Orchestra, Iguana
Jean-Michel Blais, Aubades
Stephan Moccio, Lionheart

Recording engineer of the year:
Serban Ghenea
Derek Hoffman
George Seara
Gus van Go
Jason Dufour

Children's album of the year:
Walk off the Earth and Romeo Eats, Walk off the Earth & Romeo Eats, Vol. 2
Beppie, Nice to Meet You
Jeremy and Jazzy, Say Hello
Splash'N Boots, I Am Love
Young Maestro and Keysha Freshh, Maestro Fresh Wes Presents: Julia the Great

Classical composition of the year:
Bekah Simms, Bestiary I & II
Anthony Tan, An Overall Augmented Sense of Well-being
Keyan Emami, The Black Fish
Nicole Lizée, Prayers for Ruins
Vincent Ho, Supervillain Études/

Artist of the year:
The Weeknd
Avril Lavigne
Lauren Spencer-Smith
Michael Bublé
Shawn Mendes

Album artwork of the year:
Ian Ilavsky and Maciek Szczerbowski for Everything was Forever Until it was no More, Esmerine
Emy Storey,  Becca McFarlane, Pamela Littky for Crybaby, Tegan and Sara
Jud Haynes.
Kee Avil, Lawrence Fafard for Crease, Kee Avil
Lights, Virgilio Tzaj, Matt Barnes for PEP, Lights

Contemporary Christian/gospel album of the year:
Jordan St. Cyr, Jordan St. Cyr
Dan Bremnes, Into the Wild
Daniel Ojo, Trust
Love & the Outcome, Only Ever Always
Tehillah Worship, The Church Will Rise

Vocal jazz album of the year:
Caity Gyorgy, Featuring
Diana Panton, Blue
Laura Anglade and Sam Kirmayer, Venez donc chez moi
Nikki Yanofsky, Nikki by Starlight
The Ostara Project, The Ostara Project

Blues album of the year:
Angelique Francis, Long River
Crystal Shawanda, Midnight Blues
Harrison Kennedy, Thanks for Tomorrow
Spencer Mackenzie, Preach to my Soul
The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Live at the King Eddy

Metal/hard music album of the year:
Voivod, Synchro Anarchy
Cancer Bats, Psychic Jailbreak
Get the Shot, Merciless Destruction
Skull Fist, Paid in Full
Wake, Thought Form Descent

Classical album of the year (large ensemble)
Conducted by Nicolas Ellis, featuring Marina Thibeault, Viola Borealis, Orchestre de l'Agora
Conducted by Alexander Shelley, Clara – Robert – Johannes: Lyrical Echoes, Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra
Conducted by Matthias Maute, featuring Karina Gauvin, Handel: Messiah, HWV 56, Ensemble Caprice, Ensemble Vocal Arts-Quebec
Conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen – Arvo Pärt: Symphonie No. 4, 'Los Angeles,' I Musici de Montréal
Conducted by Mark Vuorinen, Radiant Dawn: Music for Advent and Christmas, The Elora Singers

MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award:
Kevin Drew

Songwriter of the year:
The Weeknd
Tate McRae
Tenille Townes

Jazz album of the year (group):
Florian Hoefner Trio, Desert Bloom
Andrew Rathbun Quintet, Semantics
BadBadNotGood, Talk Memory
Carn Davidson 9, The History of Us
Mark Kelso & the Jazz Exiles, The Dragon's Tail

Alternative album of the year:
Blue Rev, Alvvays
Duality, Luna Li
Sewn Back Together, Ombiigizi
The Unraveling of Puptheband, Pup
Tongues, Tanya Tagaq

Producer of the year: 
Akeel Henry
Banx & Ranx
Mike Wise
Murda Beatz

Rock album of the year:
Alexisonfire, Otherness
Billy Talent, Crisis of Faith
Nickelback, Get Rollin'
The Sheepdogs, Outta Sight
Three Days Grace, Explosions

Global music album of the year:
Lenka Lichtenberg, Thieves of Dreams
Ghalia Benali, Constantinople, Kiya Tabassian, In the Footsteps of Rumi
Pierre Kwenders, José Louis and the Paradox of Love
Ruby Singh, Vox.Infold

Pop album of the year:
The Weeknd,
Dawn FM
Alessia Cara, In the Meantime
Avril Lavigne, Love Sux
Carly Rae Jepsen, The Loneliest Time
Tate McRae, I Used to Think I Could Fly

Francophone album of the year:
Les Louanges, Crash
Ariane Roy, Medium plaisir
Daniel Bélanger, Mercure en mai
Hubert Lenoir, Pictura de ipse: Musique directe
Lisa LeBlanc, Chiac Disco
Wesli, Tradisyon

Group of the year:
Arcade Fire
Billy Talent
The Reklaws

Rap single of the year:
Kaytranada and Anderson .Paak, Twin Flame
6ixBuzz and Pengz, Alejandro Sosa
Dom Vallie, Been Himma
Freddie Dredd, Wrath
Nav, Wrong Decisions

Music video of the year:
Floria Sigismondi for Sam Smith and Kim Petras, Unholy
Emma Higgins for Jessie Reyez, Fraud
Karena Evans for Chlöe, Have Mercy
Mayumi Yoshida for Amanda Sum, Different Than Before
Sterling Larose for SonReal and Lily Moore, Remember Me for Me

Electronic album of the year:
Teen Daze,
Mecha Maiko, Not OK
Odonis Odonis, Spectrums
Rezz, Nightmare on Rezz Street 2 Mix
Rich Aucoin, Synthetic Season One

Single of the year:
The Weeknd,
Avril Lavigne, Bite Me
Preston Pablo and Banx & Ranx, Flowers Need Rain
Shawn Mendes, When You're Gone
Tate McRae, She's All I Wanna Be

Traditional R&B/soul recording of the year:
Savannah Ré feat. Dylan Sinclair,
Last One
Daniel Caesar feat. BadBadNotGood, Please Do Not Lean
Jon Vinyl, Palisade
Safe, All I Need
TheHonestGuy, How to Make Love