Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press George Leach of Regina celebrates with his trophy in Winnipeg after being named winner of the Juno Award for aboriginal album of the year. He will be headlining the North American Indigenous Games opening ceremony.

Regina’s own George Leach made a big splash in Winnipeg at this past weekend’s Juno Awards.

The Queen City resident’s sophomore recording Surrender won the Juno for aboriginal album of the year at a gala dinner as part of the Canadian music awards on Saturday.

“It’s a lot to take in right away,” a beaming Leach told JUNO TV shortly after receiving the award at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

“It’s pretty rock and roll.”

Leach’s award isn’t the only one for a Saskatchewan act at this year’s Junos. Saskatoon rock band The Sheepdogs have won for video of the year for their hit Feeling Good.

Originally from Lillooet, B.C., Leach released his critically acclaimed debut album Just Where I’m At in 2002, before taking a lengthy break from recording to focus on healthy living and pottery, according to the musician’s website.

He said his first phone calls after winning the prize would be made to his mother and father.

“It takes so many people to build an artist, and so many experiences to build songs,” Leach continued.

“There’s just so much that goes into the way of life of music.”

The award, the budding star said, is a sign of recognition from Canada’s recording industry, as well as from his peers and audiences. He graciously tipped his hat to his devoted fan base, noting its years of waiting for his latest album.

The nationally telecast part of the annual awards showcase aired on Sunday night.

Last year’s Juno Awards show was held at Regina’s Brandt Centre.

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