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Elliot Page came to the Junos Awards on Sunday night to denounce a rollback of LGBTQ2+ rights after the Umbrella Academy star came out as a transgender and nonbinary at the end of 2020.   

“We are at a time in history where the rights of LGBTQ2+ people are being revoked, restricted and eliminated throughout the world, and the effects are devastating,” Page said when citing the work by the Tegan and Sara Foundation to support and build social change for trans and queer youth at the Junos in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“If the world was not so hostile to LGBTQ2+ people, we would see ourselves purely as musicians,” Sara Quin, one half of the Canadian indie pop musicians Tegan and Sara, told the Juno audience. She called out the province of Alberta for recently proposing to restrict health care for transgender youth, including halting access to hormone therapy for children aged 15 and under.

“Advocating for our community’s rights is a great privilege and we are dedicated to confronting any form of discrimination that threatens the well-being of our community,” Sara Quin added as sister Tegan and Page looked on in Halifax.

Also at the Junos, Canada’s version of the Grammys, on Sunday night, Charlotte Cardin took home the prize for best album of the year for 99 Nights. Cardin came into the Junos with a field-leading six nominations, and she was also the big winner at the 2022 Junos, where she picked up four trophies, including best artist of the year.

Other Juno winners included Nicholas Durocher, also known as Talk, picking up the trophy for breakthrough artist of the year, and Anne Murray, who attended the first Junos in 1970, handing out the group of the year award to The Beaches, an all-women indie rock band with roots in Toronto’s Beaches neighborhood.

Also on Sunday night, the Juno Fan Choice award, voted on by ordinary Canadian music lovers, went to Karan Aujla, a Punjabi pop music star. An emotional highlight at the Junos this year came when Maestro Fresh-Wes, a.k.a. Wesley Williams, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

The pioneering Canadian hip hop artist has had a five-decade career, which includes TV acting credits for The Listener, The Transporter and Mr. D, among other series. On Saturday night, during pre-TV awards prize-giving, Calgary’s Tate McRae earned two Junos for best artist of the year and best single of the year for Greedy

And Tobi also picked up two Junos on Saturday night, for best rap single and best rap album of the year, while Aysanabee nabbed trophies for best songwriter of the year and best alternative album.

A full list of winners is available on the Juno Awards website.

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