Celine Dion, Barenaked Ladies, Rascalz, Rufus Wainright, Deborah Cox Win Junos

Celine Dion and the Barenaked Ladies were the hottest acts at Canada's national Juno Awards last night. Dion basked in the heat of the bright homecoming spotlights on stage at the Copps Coliseum in snowy Hamilton, Ontario, while the Ladies enjoyed the sunlight on an Australian beach performing and accepting via satellite.

Dion was honored with a special international achievement award, the best female vocalist trophy, best album and two additional album awards based on sales -- best selling album and best selling Francophone album (album in French).

An emotional Dion alluded to her market saturation and strongly reiterated her intention to retire "for a few years" after the completion of her current tour.

"I've received many awards in my life, around the world, and it's a lot," she told the audience. "But don't worry because you probably won't see me on stage receiving an award for a long time because at the end of this tour I'm planning to stop for a long while," she

told the audience. "It's better this way." Backstage Dion confirmed to reporters that she plans to release a 'best of' album at the end of 1999 but otherwise only intends to concentrate on starting a family.

The Barenaked Ladies "Stunt" took the best pop album win away from Dion while their song "One Week" took the best single over Dion's Titanic smash, "My Heart Will Go On." The band also won best group over the popular Tragically Hip.

Kevin Hearns, the group's ailing keyboard player who did not join the band for the Australian via-satellite appearance, did attend the ceremony in the flesh in Canada. The entire band thanked a hometown hospital for successfully treating the leukemia stricken Hearns.

In a nice family touch, Rufus Wainright won for best alternative album while his mother Kate McGarrigle and her sister Anna won the best roots/traditional award. Love Inc took best dance recording. Deborah Cox was awarded best R&B/Soul recording for "One Wish." The Tragically

Hip took the publicly voted best rock album.

The Rascalz, back after a boycott last year to protest the non-televising of the urban categories, took the now-televised best rap album, "Northern Touch" a collective featuring Choclair, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust and Checkmate. The whole crew also performed live.

Shania Twain, whose failure to appear disappointed many in the wake of her sizzling Grammy performance (she had apparently just moved to Switzerland and needed the time to settle in), won just one award for best country female vocalist. Bryan Adams, another no show, took the songwriter award for penning the his Mel C. duet, "When You're Gone" in a surprising win over such contenders as "One Week" and Twain's "Still the One."