With the 2017 Juno Awards set to take place Sunday night, a number of awards were presented the night before at a special gala dinner and awards ceremony.
During the event, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences handed out 34 awards in advance of the televised ceremony, including awards presented to The Tragically Hip, Drake and the late Leonard Cohen, who passed away in November 2016.
Cohen received a posthumous award for Artist of the Year, which was accepted by his son, Adam Cohen, who produced the legendary singer/songwriter’s swan song album You Want It Darker.
In addition, The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem captured the award for Rock Album of the Year, while frontman Gord Downie’s solo project, Secret Path, won awards for Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year.
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Drake was honoured for the success of his 2016 album Views, awarded the International Achievement Award, while Buffy Sainte-Marie was presented with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award (presented to her by Bruce Cockburn) for her lifelong efforts to promote and enrich indigenous culture.
Meanwhile, a number of first-time nominees took home Junos at the Saturday night gala including: Bit Funk, Bria Skonberg, Jason Dufour, Jazz Cartier, Johnathan Shedletzky/Isis Essery/Jeff Lemire, Jordan Nobles, Kaytranada, Laurence Nerbonne, Mandroid Echostar, Okavango African Orchestra, Quantum Tangle, The East Pointers, The Dirty Nil, The Fretless and William Prince.
The 2017 Juno Awards will air live on Sunday, Apr. 3 at 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET.