Every year, on a Sunday night in June, thousands of fans descend upon the intersection of Queen and John streets in Toronto for a magical ritual. There are lights, sound, balloons... and lots and lots of music!
Last night was the 2017 iHeart Radio Much Music Video Awards (or MMVAs, for short)! And while actual awards are given out for actual music videos, the real draw of the night is the chance to see superstars up close. And then watch them perform!
Co-hosts Joe Jonas and Alessia Cara were super comfortable taking photos with the fans who waited along the red carpet.
...but then it was time for the real show!
Stars from around the world
The MMVAs attracts superstars from everywhere. This year, New Zealand popstar Lorde (who was celebrating the release of her brand new record called Melodrama that weekend) performed a medley of two songs, "Green Light" and "Perfect Places. "She also won an award for International Artist of the Year.
One Direction member Niall Horan, a proud Irishman, was also there to help launch his new solo career. We're pretty sure that he's already got some fans...
Then there was Las Vegas rock band Imagine Dragons, who have made a habit of big public shows in Canada (they played the halftime show at the CFL's Grey Cup in 2014, too). Their drum-heavy sound was made even stronger by the addition of Toronto drum line, 416BEATS, while lead singer Dan Reynolds waved a Canadian flag in support.
But above all, this is a Canadian show and there was a lot of this country's talent on stage. From Shawn Mendes to Grimes to Justin Bieber, plenty of Canucks won trophies. Hamilton rock band The Arkells won an MMVA Fan Fave Video Award for their song "Knocking At The Door," which they performed in trademark electric fashion.
But maybe the biggest winners of the night were Indigenous DJs A Tribe Called Red. They won video of the year for their track "R.E.D.," while Kevan Funk won Director of the Year for his work on their video, "Stadium Pow Wow."
In a year where Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday, there was something beautiful about a group like A Tribe Called Red winning the two biggest trophies of the night. From Prime Minister Trudeau to many social activists and artists, such as The Tragically Hip's Gord Downie, many Canadians have come forward to say that this country's Indigenous communities (and their culture) need to be treated with more respect and care. Maybe this is one small sign of how these things are beginning to change!
From MMVAs to the Order of Canada
And while we're on that note, there's something else really terrific happening today. Gord Downie (who won an MMVA last night with his band) and indigenous activist Sylvia Maracle are being named officers in the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa. This is the highest civilian award that Canada can give out.
Congrats to Gord and Sylvia!