Despite threats of rain and a thunderstorm, thousands of music fans flooded Toronto’s Queen St. W., Sunday night hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the biggest names in entertainment.
Joe Jonas of DNCE and Brampton R&B star Alessia Cara hosted the iHeartRadio Canada Much Music Video Awards, also known as the MMVAs, which took over the entire block for the evening. Presenters included actress Tatiana Maslany, singer Carly Rae Jepsen and YouTube star Tyler Oakley.
Fans lined up for hours to score spots on the red carpet. Sharissa Wilkinson, 19, and Monika Mrula, 18, said they arrived to get in line for the red carpet at noon.
“It’s such a fun thing to watch,” Wilkinson said. “We grew up watching it.”
Deniz Ruscuku, 16, who was visiting her brother Janberk Ruscuklu, 27, from Turkey said they saw the stage being set up Saturday and decided to attend.
“She told me it’s the highlight of her trip,” Janberk said. “She’s super excited.”
Ethan Chou, 17, attended the show with three friends, who all arrived at 4:30 p.m. to score spots for the 9 p.m. show.
“I like how it’s outside and it’s free,” he said. “It’s close to my house but I’ve never been to one before. I think we were on TV a few times, too. We asked a camera woman to record us.”
A number of Canadians took home awards. Kevan Funk, director of “Stadium Pow Wow” by A Tribe Called Red f. Black Bear, won best director.
“I think when you make videos, most of the time you’re not thinking about awards. You’re just trying to do the best project you can,” Funk told the Star. “I think more than anything, the nicest thing was having a chance to work with Tribe because they’re a group I’ve always admired.”
Grimes won best EDM/dance video for “Venus Fly,” Pickering’s Shawn Mendes won best pop video for “Mercy,” and the Tragically Hip won the award for best rock/alternative video for “In A World Possessed By The Human Mind.”
Lorde, who won the iHeartRadio International Artist of the Year, thanked her Canadian fans.
“Canada was one of the first places to go ‘Hey, we like this little weirdo.’ So thank you,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I want to say how grateful I am to everyone who waited for this record.”
The show, which featured 10 performances from artists including Lorde, Imagine Dragons and Iggy Azalea, has developed a reputation as a big, lively party backstage.
Before the show even began, stars took to the red carpet, which American actress Keke Palmer praised for its accessibility to fans.
“It’s so awesome,” she said. “Aside from the Kids’ Choice Awards, no show is so involved with the fans.”
The crowd appeared most excited by the arrival of a British star, former member of One Direction, Niall Horan. The singer, who took home the Fan Fave International Artist or Group Award, stopped to take selfies as fans chanted his name.
One fan held up a sign reading: “I’d drive highways and byways to be here with you Niall.”
Glee actor Darren Criss, who was at the event promoting his band Computer Games, said the show is always fun.
“I’m sad that more Americans don’t know about this show,” Criss said while walking the red carpet. “They’re missing out.”
Traditionally, stars compete for attention at the MMVAs by arriving on the red carpet in flashy, unique and sometimes downright strange modes of transportation. In previous years, stars have showed up inside a TTC streetcar and in an ice cream truck.
Recap: iHeartRadio Canada MMVAs
Canadian band Marianas Trench, known for their unique costumes at the MMVAs, celebrated their tenth visit by arriving in a huge birthday cake decorated with a large “10.” Putting his own spin on a birthday suit, frontman Josh Ramsay emerged from the cake wearing a whipped cream bikini. He was surrounded by his bandmates, who were wrapped in dozens of balloons.
A number of other famous Canadians hit the red carpet, including Hedley, Lights and athletes Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors and Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs.