Magic!, Kiesza and Leonard Cohen are among the artists in the running for the 44th annual Juno Awards.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) revealed the full list of nominees Tuesday in Toronto, kicking off the race for the prestigious prizes recognizing excellence in Canadian music.

Magic!, the Rude-singing pop reggae group from Toronto, leads the nominations with five, including pop album of the year, single of the year and breakthrough group of the year.

Kiesza

Calgary's Juno newcomer Kiesza has is one of the Juno frontrunners with nods including single of the year, breakthrough artist of the year and dance recording of the year. (Adam Gasson/MTV Europe/Getty Images)

Twenty-six-year-old Calgarian Kiesza follows close behind with four nominations, including single of the year for her international hit Hideaway.
 
Canadian music icon Leonard Cohen also received four nods including artist of the year and album of the year for Popular Problems.

Nominees in selected categories include:

  • Group of the year: Arkells​, Chromeo, Mother Mother, ​Nickelback and You+Me.
  • Artist: Bryan Adams, Deadmau5, Leonard Cohen, Sarah McLachlan, The Weeknd.
  • International album: PRISM - Katy Perry​, Pure Heroine - Lorde, Midnight Memories - One Direction, In the Lonely Hour - Sam Smith, 1989 - Taylor Swift.
  • Pop album: Avril Lavigne, Down with Webster, Lights, Magic!, Nikki Yanofsky.
  • Fan choice award: Arcade Fire,Bobby Bazini, Drake, Hedley, Leonard Cohen, Magic!, Michael Bublé, Nickelback, Serge Fiori, You+Me.
  • Single: Hold On, We’re Going Home - Drake ft. Majid Jordan, Crazy for You - Hedley, Hideaway - Kiesza, Rude - Magic!, We’re All in This Together - Sam Roberts Band.
  • Album: Where I Belong - Bobby Bazini, Wild Life - Hedley, Popular Problems - Leonard Cohen, No Fixed Address - Nickelback, Serge Fiori - Serge Fiori.
  • ​Aboriginal album: The Whole World’s Got the Blues - Crystal Shawanda, For The Light - Digging Roots, Heart of the People - Leela Gilday, Animism - Tanya Tagaq, The (Post) Mistress - Tomson Highway. 
  • Rap recording: PA2: The Director’s Cut - Marco Polo, The Legends League Presents: Naturally Born Strangers - Naturally Born Strangers, Dear America - P Reign, Amani - Saukrates, Stigmata - Tre Mission.

Classic rock group Rush will also be honoured with the 2015 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for their contributions to having "enhanced the social fabric of Canada." 

Hamilton preparing for a party

Arkells

Hamilton's Arkells, from left to right: Nick Dika (bass), Anthony Carone (keyboard), Max Kerman (lead vocals/guitar), Mike DeAngelis (vocals/guitar) and Tim Oxford (drums) are one of the acts performing at the 2015 Junos. (Brooks Reynolds/CP)

The awards will be handed out at a star-studded gala on March 15 at Hamilton, Ont.'s FirstOntario Centre.

It's the first time in 14 years that the city southwest of Toronto — affectionately nicknamed the Hammer — will be hosting the Juno Awards.

"They are no strangers to Juno Award celebrations," said Allan Reid, president and CEO of CARAS, the Juno Awards and MusiCounts, who pointed out that Hamilton hosted the awards ceremony five times before.

The honour is also about celebrating the country and the city's vibrant music scene, Reid said.

"Music is an integral part of Canada's cultural fabric," he said. "It binds us together."

Taking to the stage

A number of big Canadian acts are slated to perform at the March 15 gala, including:

Also Tuesday, CARAS also added to the list of 2015 Juno performers, revealing that the Arkells will also take to the stage during the broadcast.

The two-time Juno-winning rock group from Hamilton gave a surprise performance for the crowd gathered for the nominee announcement at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall.

More Juno performers and hosts are expected to be added to the roster in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the 2015 awards gala range from $39 to $149 and can be purchased at FirstOntario Centre, by phone at 1-855-872-5000 and online at Ticketmaster.ca.


2015 Juno Award nominees (continued):

Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd

Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, is nominated for best R&B soul recording for his album Often. (Greg Allen/Invision/Associated Press)

  • R&B/Soul recording: Dirty Laundry - Ben Stevenson, Got To Have It - jacksoul, JRDN - JRDN, Four Seasons - Melanie Durrant, Often - The Weeknd. 
  • Reggae recording: Welcome the King - Exco Levi, Love Inna Wi Heart - Kirk Diamond ft. Bob da Builda, Wake Up  - Mikey Dangerous, Hold On Till I - Die Steele, Real Talk - Tasha T.
  • Breakthrough artist of the year: Glenn Morrison, Jess Moskaluke, Kiesza, Mac DeMarco, Shawn Mendes.
  • Breakthrough group: Adventure Club, Alvvays, Magic!, USS, Zeds Dead.
  • Country album: Lifted - Dallas Smith, Light Up The Night - Jess Moskaluke, Caffeine & Big Dreams - Kira Isabella, MacKenzie Porter - Mackenzie Porter, Wheels - The Road Hammers.
  • Adult contemporary: Bahamas Is Afie - Bahamas, Compostela - Jenn Grant, The Lemon Squeeze - Jeremy Fisher, Popular Problems - Leonard Cohen, Sleeping Operator - The Barr Brothers.

A full list of the 179 nominees — including 86 first-timers — can be found at the official Juno Awards website