Hamilton rock heroes Arkells, jazz songstress Diana Panton and electronic innovator Caribou all took home trophies at The Juno Awards gala dinner and awards show Saturday evening.

Arkells won group of the year, Panton won vocal jazz album of the year, and Caribou – also known as Dundas native Dan Snaith – won electronic album of the year.

In his acceptance speech, frontman Max Kerman told the crowd that he thought all of the other bands nominated for group of the year deserved the honour just as much as they did.

“We’ve been chasing Mother Mother for years,” Kerman said. “And to be honest, when I was 14 [Nickelback’s] How You Remind Me was my favourite song.”

Geddy Lee

Rush bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee told reporters after accepting the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award that "When you help someone, it’s a quieter feeling but it brings tears to your eyes." (Adam Carter/CBC)

Guitarist Mike DeAngelis told CBC Hamilton that he was genuinely surprised to win the honour for a second time. "I honestly didn't think we were going to win," he said.

Arkells, who have been riding high on the strength of the band's newest album High Noon, will play during the big Juno Awards broadcast on Sunday. The awards were presented during a three-hour gala dinner at the Hamilton Convention Centre, which was attended by 800 music industry bigwigs and nominees.

Diana Panton, who is a first-time Juno winner but a four-time nominee, said she was thrilled to win an award in her hometown.

Panton, who teaches at Westdale High School, will no doubt have a bevvy of questions waiting for her from her students when she heads back to class.

“I think they’ll think this is kind of neat,” Panton said. “It’s March break right now, so it’ll be interesting to go back into the classroom.”

'We're all in this insanity together': Fred Penner

Other winners included Bahamas for songwriter of the year, Magic! for songwriter of the year and Lights for pop album of the year.

Revered children’s entertainer Fred Penner took home the award for children’s entertainer of the year, and you could see the genuine excitement on his face as he made his way to the stage.

He told reporters that though his career has spanned decades, he hasn’t had to change his message for each new generation of kids.

“The things I relate to are the values of humanity and universal topics that bind us all together,” Penner said. “We are all in this insanity together.”

Rush also took home the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for the band’s charitable work, which was awarded to legendary prog rock trio.

“If you do well, try to do good – and I’ve always tried to do that with causes large and small,” said drummer Neil Peart in a video message.

Rushs till 'nice Canadian boys,' Geddy Lee says

Geddy Lee told reporters that people might not know about the band’s humanitarian work because they’re “nice Canadian boys who don’t like to make a spectacle.”

“When you help someone, it’s a quieter feeling but it brings tears to your eyes,” Lee said.

Here’s the full list of winners from Saturday night:

  • International album of the year: Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
  • Group of the year: Arkells
  • Breakthrough group of the year: Magic!
  • Songwriter of the year: Bahamas
  • Country album of the year: Dallas Smith, Lifted
  • Adult alternative album of the year: Bahamas, Bahamas is Afie
  • Alternative album of the year: July Talk, self-titled
  • Pop album of the year: Lights, Little Machines
  • Rap recording of the year: Naturally Born Strangers, The Legends League Presents: Naturally Born Strangers
  • Dance recording of the year: Kiesza, Sound of a Woman
  • R&B/Soul recording of the year: The Weeknd, Often
  • Reggae recording of the year: Exco Levi, Welcome the King
  • Aboriginal album of the year: Tanya Tagaq, Animism
  • Roots and traditional album of the year, solo: Catherine MacLellan, The Raven’s Sun
  • Roots and traditional album of the year, group: The Bros. Landreth, Let it Lie
  • Blues album of the year: Steve Hill, Solo Recordings, Vol. 2
  • Contemporary Christian album of the year: Manic Drive, VIP
  • World music album of the year: Quique Escamilla, 500 Years of Night
  • Jack Richardson producer of the year: Adam Messinger
  • Recording Engineer of the year: Eric Ratz
  • Recording package of the year: Pilgrimage, Steve Bell
  • Video of the year: Hideaway, Kiesza
  • Electronic album of the year: Caribou, Our Love
  • Metal/hard music album of the year: Devin Townsend Project, Z2
  • Adult contemporary album of the year: Sarah McLachlan, Shine On
  • Vocal jazz album of the year: Diana Panton, Red
  • Jazz album of the year, solo: Kirk MacDonald, Vista Obscura
  • Jazz album of the year, group: Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, self-titled
  • Instrumental album of the year: Quartango, Encuentro
  • Francophone album of the year: Jimmy Hunt, Maladie d’amour
  • Children’s album of the year: Fred Penner, Where in the World
  • Classical album of the year, solo or chamber ensemble" James Ehnes, Bartok: Chamber Works for Violin Vol. 3
  • Classical album of the year, large ensemble or soloist: Angela Hewitt, Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 24
  • Classical album of the year, vocal or choral performance: Gerald Finley and Julius Drake, Schubert: Winterreise
  • Classical composition of the year: Brian Current, Airline Icarus

adam.carter@cbc.ca | AdamCarterCBC