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Canadian music legends and first time nominees lead winner’s 

List at the 2017 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards in Ottawa 

Canadian music industry gather for a spectacular night
of celebration and camaraderie

Leonard Cohen, Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip receive Academy
nods for evening’s top awards

Fifteen first time nominees took home their first JUNOS

Bell Media President, Randy Lennox, presented with
Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award

Drake received International Achievement Award

Buffy Sainte-Marie honoured with Allan Waters Humanitarian Award
TORONTO, ON — The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today handed out 34 JUNOS and three special awards during a spectacular gathering of the Canadian music industry at the 2017 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards presented by SOCAN in Ottawa.Attended by over 1,500 guests, the event, hosted by cbc radio one q’s Tom Power at the Shaw Centre, recognized the industry’s top talent and Canada’s music milestones from the past year.

The JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards presented by SOCAN kicks off the awards weekend, which caps the week-long JUNO celebrations in the nation’s capital. A signature event of Ottawa 2017, the week will end on a high note on Sunday April 2, when the nationally televised broadcast of the 2017 JUNO Awards reveals the remaining seven awards for this year’s JUNOS.In recognition of his tremendous success on what was to be his farewell record, Leonard Cohen was awarded Artist of the Year sponsored by TD. His son Adam Cohen, also producer of You Want It Darker, offered a heartfelt message while receiving the award for his late father. A tribute to the Canadian icon is scheduled for the Sunday awards broadcast with a moving rendition of one of Cohen’s classic songs performed by Feist.

The evening was a big night for rock legends Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip, winning Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Rock Album of the Year, respectively. Downie’s solo project, Secret Path, also took home Recording Package of the Year.

The industry also recognized the immense talent from Canada’s emerging artists, with first time nominees taking the stage for 15 of the 34 awards handed out: 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, all took home their first JUNO statuettes.

Additional highlights of the evening include the presentation of three special awards: The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, presented by Kiefer Sutherland to Bell Media President and music industry veteran Randy Lennox. The International Achievement Award, given to Drake in recognition of his exemplary year for the success of his 2016 album, Views. Past recipients of this award include Bryan Adams, Alanis Morissette, Céline Dion, Shania Twain and Sarah McLachlan. Lastly, the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, handed out by Bruce Cockburn to Buffy Sainte-Marie for her lifelong work to protect and enrich indigenous culture.

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