01/12/2014 07:45 EST | Updated 03/14/2014 05:59 EDT

Golden Globe Awards roll out Hollywood's red carpet

Hollywood's awards season extravaganza kicks off in earnest tonight at the 71st Golden Globe Awards, which celebrate achievements in film and television.

Hosted for a second consecutive year by comic favourites Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the event is considered a looser, more carefree and wider-ranging toast of Hollywood than the upcoming Academy Awards.

Authorities were rushing to clean up last-minute incidents, including reports of a fire sprinkler and pipe bursting over a section of the red carpet earlier Sunday afternoon. Staffers used air blowers and wet-dry vacuums to clear the scene.

Front-runners heading into tonight's star-studded Globes evening include 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Behind the Candelabra.

Canadians vying for honours include veteran sitcom star Michael J. Fox (the TV comedy The Michael J. Fox Show) and rising actress Tatiana Maslany (TV sci-fi hit Orphan Black).

Some of Hollywood's most famous faces — including Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett — are expected on the red carpet and at the event.

This year's winner of the HFPA's lifetime achievement honour, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, is iconic New York director Woody Allen, who famously avoids award shows. Actress Diane Keaton — who starred in Allen classics such as Manhattan, Annie Hall, Love and Death, Manhattan Murder Mystery and Sleeper — is expected to accept on his behalf.

The Globes take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., beginning at 8 p.m. ET, airing on NBC and CTV.