Drake, Caribou and the New Pornographers are just a few of the homegrown artists who have been shortlisted for a 2015 Polaris Music Prize. The annual award recognizes the Canadian album deemed to have "the highest artistic integrity" in a given year, with past honourees including beloved Montreal group Arcade Fire (who will release their first film this year) and "My Moon, My Man" singer Feist.
Other nominees vying for the $50,000 prize include Toronto-based indie pop band Alvvays; songwriter Jennifer Castle; Alberta punk-rockers Viet Cong; west-coaster Tobias Jesso Jr.; trio BADBADNOTGOOD with rapper Ghostface Killah; Cree performer Buffy Sainte-Marie and The New Pornographers.
The not-for-profit prize has been a powerful platform for Canadian talent since it first hit the music scene 10 years ago. Winners are chosen not based on the success of their album (read: record sales) but for their record’s character. A jury of 200, including journalists and music-industry heavyweights, decide on the prizewinner. Shortlisted candidates receive a secondary prize of $3,000.
Previous winners of the award include Final Fantasy for his album He Poos Clouds, Patrick Watson for Close to Paradise, Arcade Fire for The Suburbs and Feist for Metals.
This is the fourth nomination for indie songwriter Caribou, who won the prize back in 2008 for his album Andorra. Drake is also a repeat nominee, this being the third time he’s been up for the award.
The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on Sept. 21 during a gala at The Carlu in Toronto, set to be hosted by Canadian entertainer Fred Penner.
“I truly believe in what the Polaris stands for,” Fred said at a press conference last week. “It seems to be head and shoulders above any other organization that works with music in Canada.”
Sarah Kelsey is a gal in the know who regularly appears on television and writes for a variety of outlets. Check out her work at sarahkelsey.ca, on Twitter @sarahkelsey, Instagram @sakelsey and Pinterest @sakelsey.