Polaris Music Prize Winner Crowned

Every year the Polaris Music Prize is given to the artists who released the best Canadian albums between June and May. Unlike with other music awards, the winner is not selected according to sales figures and general popularity. Instead these things are completely ignored and judges try to make their decision based solely on the creativity and diversity that they find in the nominated albums.

This year was certainly no different and in the end it was Caribou who took home the $20 000 music prize. The prize is generally awarded to undiscovered and under appreciated acts that tend to perform under the radar. The final ten nominees were selected from a wide range of music genres and included the likes of Black Mountain, Kathleen Edwards, Plants and Animals, Stars, Basia Bulat, Two Hours Traffic, Weakerthans, Caribou, Shad and Holy F**k. According to a Polaris spokeswoman, this was the first time in the three-year history of the contest that there was no clear front runner when it came to voting. It was anyone’s guess who the eleven members of the jury would ultimately select and in the end it seems that Caribou came out on tops.

Caribou, formerly known as Manitoba, is a one-man initiative run by Dan Snaith. He won the prize for his CD “Andorra”, beating ten other top Canadian performers in the process. He seemed to find himself completely humbled by the experience, saying: “If I seem completely overwhelmed I apologize, it’s because I totally am. I feel so lucky and so proud to be included among such an incredible group of musicians.” Andorra was praised for the “traditional song craft” that had been incorporated into Snaith’s ethereal loop-based electronic sound.

The prize ceremony featured performances from all the finalists and was hosted by Grant Lawrence from CBC Radio 3. The entire evening’s proceedings were broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio, CBC Radio 3 and online. The Polaris Music Prize is designed to recognize and promote the contributions of various Canadian artists and their often-times ignored or unknown work. It is modelled after other similar prizes such as the £20 000 Mercury Prize, which is awarded to the top emerging U.K. artists.