Arcade Fire Dominates at 40th Annual Junos

Arcade Fire Dominates at 40th Annual Junos

By Sarah Klein

Arcade Fire pose backstage with their trophies at the 2011 Juno Awards Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. (CARAS)
Rapper and 2011 Juno Awards host Drake arrives on the red carpet Sunday in Toronto. The artist went home empty-handed. (CARAS)

Chalk up another huge win for Canadian rock band Arcade Fire after Sunday night’s Juno Awards in Toronto.

The Montreal indie rockers picked up an impressive three awards on the heels of their latest album, The Suburbs. The group won for album of the year, group of the year and songwriter of the year. Earlier this year, they won a Grammy for album of the year

Hosted by rapper Drake — who went into the Junos with a staggering six nominations — the show has become a larger than life spectacle to what it was when Winnipeg hosted the Junos in 2005. Drake kept the adrenaline of the audience revved up for the night, but unfortunately his charismatic hosting abilities couldn’t get him a Juno win. It’s not like Drake’s musical talents have never been recognized before — he did walk away with two Junos last year.

The single of the year went to Young Artists for Haiti for their rendition of K’Naan’s Wavin’ Flag. Predictions earlier on in the weekend had the single pegged to take home the award, given all proceeds went to support the rebuilding of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an awards show without some sort of recognition of Canada’s own Justin Bieber. The 17-year-old secured two wins, pop album of the year for My World 2.0, and to no surprise, the Juno fan choice award. It was hard to hear who else was nominated in the latter category over the shrills of young female fans in the audience.

Neil Young picked up a well-deserved three awards Sunday night in Toronto at the 2011 Junos, including the 2011 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award. (CARAS)

On the local front, Winnipeg artists and Drake have something in common. None of the locally-nominated artists took home a statue, but former Winnipegger Neil Young did clean up nicely — both figuratively and literally. Young won adult alternative album of the year and artist of the year.

It was Young’s first appearance to the Junos in 29 years, where he was also recognized with the 2011 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award.

According to data collected by BBM Canada, 2.4 million viewers watched the Junos — up 48% compared to last year and setting a new record in all key adult demos. Add to that the sheer volume of tweets and interest generated this year by social media, and it was definitely a pleasing night ratings-wise.

Last week, host broadcaster CTV and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced an extension of their broadcast partnership through 2016.

Next year’s Junos will take place in Ottawa.

2011 Juno Award Winners

  • Album of the Year: Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
  • Artist of the Year: Neil Young
  • Group of the Year: Arcade Fire
  • New Artist of the Year: Meaghan Smith
  • Songwriter of the Year: Arcade Fire
  • Pop Album of the Year: Justin Bieber, My World 2.0
  • Juno Fan Choice Award: Justin Bieber
  • Single of the Year: Young Artists for Haiti, Wavin’ Flag, written by K’Naan


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