By: Kevan Hannah –
Tegan and Sara were among the big winners at this 43rd annual JUNO Awards, taking home three trophies in some of the year’s biggest categories, including group of the year and single of the year.
“I don’t think many people, especially not us, would think that two queer kids from northeast Calgary would get to here,” Tegan Quin said, expressing disbelief at the immense success that the twin sisters have experienced since the release of 2013’s Heartthrob.
The 2014 awards were held Sunday evening at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. And if Quin sisters were the night’s big winners, it was Arcade Fire that stumbled the most; unable to repeat the success they saw at the 2011 awards.
The Montreal outfit was expected to be the night’s big winner, leading the pack with six nominations for last year’s disco epic Reflektor, but fell short in all but two categories, including Songwriter of the Year, which went to Millbrook, Ont. singer-songwriter Serena Ryder.
Ryder, who released Harmony to critical acclaim in 2012, also took home the award for Artist of the Year at Saturday’s awards gala, beating out formidable contenders Drake, Michael Bublé, Robin Thicke and Celine Dion.
“When I was growing up [in Millbrook] it was under a thousand people,” she said, fighting back tears as she claimed her award. “This has been a dream of mine my entire life, this is the hugest honour ever.” Ryder spent much of the night pulling double duty as one of the night’s co-hosts, sharing the stage with fellow nominees Classified and Johnny Reid. She was also quick to defend Justin Bieber after the teenage phenomenon was audibly jeered following his win for this year’s fan choice award.
“He’s been working his ass off his entire life!” she told the audience prior to acknowledging her win. Bieber was not in attendance.
The broadcast also saw performances from Sarah McLachlan, OneRepublic, Walk Off the Earth, and a Canadian rock medley from an all-star band that consisted of The Sheepdogs, Matt Mays and Travis Good (The Sadies). Winnipeg’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive was also in the house as Col. Chris Hadfield inducted the rock legends into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
“It’s great to be standing here in Winnipeg, where it all started.” said Randy Bachman, 70, who graciously accepted the award following pre-taped messages of support from the likes of Elton John, Paul Rodgers and Metallica.
Elsewhere, Ottawa electronic trio A Tribe Called Red won breakthrough group of the year for last year’s sleeper hit Nation II Nation; Drake claimed best rap recording for Nothing Was the Same; and Ryan Hemsworth took electronic album of the year for Guilt Trips.
JUNO FAN CHOICE AWARD
WINNER: Justin Bieber
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Closer, Tegan and Sara
INTERNATIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Reflektor, Arcade Fire
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Serena Ryder
GROUP OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Tegan and Sara
BREAKTHROUGH GROUP OF THE YEAR
WINNER: A Tribe Called Red
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Serena Ryder
Check out the rest of the winners here.