TORONTO -- Shadows of last week's shooting in Orlando hung heavy over the IHeartRadio Canada Much Music Video Awards as some of music's biggest names took moments from the celebration to acknowledge the tragedy.

As pop singer Nick Jonas stepped onto the Toronto stage to accept his award for international artist of the year he paused to recognize the 49 people shot dead, and 53 injured, at the Pulse night club just over a week ago.

"To all the families and victims of the shootings recently, we love you, and we have not forgotten you," Jonas said as he clutched the trophy.

It was one of several moments during the otherwise celebratory show where superstars acknowledged the impact of the violence, particularly on the LGBT community.

The biggest winner of the night was Drake who took home five awards, including video of the year and best hip hop video, though he didn't show up to accept them.

Other big winners included Fifth Harmony for most buzzworthy international artist or group and Justin Bieber for fan fave artist or group.

Standout performances of the night included rising Canadian pop singer Alessia Cara who performed "Wild Things" and hip hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who were joined by model Amber Rose on stage for the song "Dance Off."

On the red carpet Sara Quin, one half of Calgary sister duo Tegan and Sara, talked about how the Pulse night club shooting has impacted the LGBT community.

The singer said it hit even closer to home because her girlfriend is from Orlando.

"It's about legislating change," she said.

"(Florida) is a good state for this to start in because it's one of the more difficult states to get things like gun legislation."

Halifax singer Ria Mae said she was hopeful her fellow members of the LGBT community will be the harbingers for change.

"The queer community is so practised in coming together now," she said. "Maybe that can help fuel the fire in gun safety and gun control."

Keeping with the spirit of the annual Much Music event there were plenty of fun moments to go around too.

Sticking with tradition, some of pop music's biggest names competed for attention on the red carpet by arriving in their flashiest modes of transportation.

Jonas pulled up in style driving himself in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible while "Work From Home" girl group Fifth Harmony took no prisoners on an Inkas Sentry APC assault vehicle.

The female pop fivesome also became the first winners of the night by taking home most buzzworthy international artist or group.

There were a few quirkier arrivals too, with Calgary natives Tegan and Sara pulling up in a double-decker London-style bus while pop rockers Marianas Trench rode through in a golf cart.

The celebrity-drenched celebration of music was hosted by supermodel Gigi Hadid.