Polaris Prize for Karkwa

In 2006 the Polaris Music Prize was inaugurated to pay tribute to Canadian musicians. A jury is selected to award the prize to the artist or group they think are most deserving. The artistic merit of the group is the most important to the jury, and features such as sales and genre are not taken into consideration. Based on the well known Mercury Prize, the Polaris Music Prize included a cash prize of C$20 000. At this year’s awards ceremony, which was hosted on Monday, 20 September 2010, the band Karkwa were awarded this prestigious prize.

Formed in Montreal, Canada, Karkwa has been active since 1998, but only burst onto the music scene in 2003. The band consists of Louis-Jean Cormier (Guitarist and Vocalist), Stephane Bergeron (Drummer), Francois Lafontaine (Keyboardist), Julien Sagot (Percussionist) and Martin Lamontagne (Bass Guitarist). It was their fourth album, Les chemins de Verre, which placed them on the top of the Polaris Music Prize award list. The band has previously won other awards, such as the Felix Awards, for their music contributions. Singles such as Coup D’etat, Poisson Cru and Oublie Pas have skyrocketed this indie rock band to stardom.

Last year’s prize winners, F—ed Up, were also at the ceremony, and their lead singer, Damian Abraham announced Karkwa’s victory. Karkwa were up against noteworthy contenders such as Owen Pallett, Shad, Caribou and Broken Social Scene. Winning the Polaris Music Prize was a great honor for the band. Louis-Jean Cormier represented the band during the acceptance speech, and a visibly surprised and excited Cormier expressed his gratitude at the award. Speaking to the press after the awards ceremony, Cormier commented that: “It’s an unbelievable thing to win this prize. We have a lot of respect for this contest and we think they do it for the right reason.” The band believes that the award will now give them enough recognition to be able to book festivals they were not previously able to, and to catapult them into the next level of their ever developing career. Karkwa has established a large fan base and captured the attention of the music industry. The future looks bright and successful for this magnificent band of musicians.