June 19, 2017
It’s that time of year again: the time when music fans and critics alike come together to argue about what should and shouldn’t be nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, all while also celebrating the rich and diverse group of records that make up the prize’s long list and give a glimpse of what Canada’s music scene has to offer. The long list is just that—long—so there’s a lot to go through before the short list is revealed on July 13. But that should provide ample time for you to get familiar with what’s been nominated so far.
It’s the 12th year of the prize, which now awards a whopping $50,000 to the winner. To be eligible for the 2017 Polaris Music Prize, albums had to be released between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017. The 40 records that ended up on the long list were chosen by the Polaris jury, comprised of journalists, critics, and industry pros who make their decisions, “without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.” And it’s not only the big winner that gets all the money—each of the other nine finalists from the short list get $3,000 to take home.
You can mosey over to the Polaris long list page and check out the albums that made it right now. Got any gripes about what should or shouldn’t have made it? The beloved, bizarre, and endlessly entertaining modern folk troubadour B.A. Johnston made his second appearance with Gremlins 3, which is pretty fun to see alongside Drake’s More Life and The Weeknd’s Starboy. Leonard Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker, makes an expected appearance, and Gord Downie shows up twice, with his own Secret Path and The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem. Personally, there were at least a couple questionable snubs in my mind, but (full disclosure) I’m a juror, so I’ll leave the arguing to to you. Take a listen through the long list and get acquainted with a little of the past year of Canadian music.
In Other News:
- Get familiar with the music for Edmonton’s largest National Aboriginal Day celebrations yet.
- The Tragically Hip are now members of the Order of Canada.
- Warner Music Canada is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a bunch of fun stuff.
- You can take out vinyl records at the Toronto Reference Library now.
- A Winnipeg teenager is the only Canadian heading out on the School of Rock’s 29-date tour.