Rush, Leonard Cohen, Carly Rae Jepsen, Metric and The Weeknd were among the winners at the 2013 Juno Gala Dinner & Awards in Regina, Sask., last night (April 20), during a private, untelevised, non-webcast evening attended by 1150 members of the Canadian music industry at the Credit Union Eventplex.

While many acts were not there in person to pick up their prize, there were plenty who were, including Jepsen who won pop album of the year for Kiss; Classified feat. David Myles for rap recording for Inner Ninja; and The Tenors for the inaugural adult contemporary album trophy for Lead With Your Heart.

Leonard Cohen, who beat out Justin Bieber, Jepsen, Deadmau5 and Johnny Reid to be crowned artist of the year, was not in attendance, but son Adam, a nominee himself for adult contemporary album, accepted it on his dad’s behalf and also performed.

During the first of the two-night Juno Awards celebration 35 awards were handed out in total; the remaining seven will be interspersed between live performances in a two-hour show broadcast live tonight across Canada on CTV from the Brandt Centre. Michael Buble, who has made several hilarious pre-recorded skits for past Juno Awards, is finally hosting. The gala presentation, however, was hosted by CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

Metric — who wasn’t at the gala but will be performing on the televised show — was recognized with three awards: alternative album for Synthetica, band member James Shaw for Jack Richardson Producer of the Year and art director Justin Broadbent took home recording package. The Weeknd was declared breakthrough artist of the year and his album Trilogy for R&B/soul recording of the year.

Electronic album went to Grimes for Visions; blues album to Steve Strongman’s A Natural Fact; world music album to Lorraine Klaasen for Tribute To Miriam Makeba; country album to Johnny Reid for Fire It Up; rock album to Rush for Clockwork Angels; metal/hard music album to Woods of Ypres for Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light; and Mumford & Son won international album for Babel.

Additional highlights of the night included a special honour for esteemed multi-platinum-selling artist Tom Cochrane (of “Life Is A Highway” fame) who was the recipient of the 2013 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award and veteran music industry journalist Larry LeBlanc, the former Canadian correspondent for Billboard for 17 years now with Celebrity Access, who was recognized with the 2013 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award.

Other awards announced at the gala dinner included: Aboriginal album to Crystal Shawanda for Just Like You; vocal jazz album to Emilie-Claire Barlow for Seule ce Soir; contemporary jazz album to Joel Miller for Swim; traditional jazz album to Murley, Bickert & Wallace for Test of Time; dance recording to Anjulie for You and I; The City Harmonic’s I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home) for contemporary Christian/gospel album; and instrumental album to Pugs & Crows for Fantastic Pictures; roots & traditional album of the year: solo to Rose Cousins’s We Have Made a Spark and Roots & traditional album to Elliott Brood’s Days Into Years.