The waiting is now over. The keenly-anticipated announcement of the Long List for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize came yesterday afternoon, and the locale of Whitehorse, Yukon, confirms the national scope of the prestigious Prize.
The event took place at the Yukon Transportation Museum and was supported by the Yukon Film and Sound Commission. Jury Foreperson and CBC Calgary’s Katherine Duncan hosted the announcement, while those naming the 40-title list were The Honourable Stacey Hassard (Yukon Economic Development Minister), Ben Rayner (Toronto Star), Sandra Sperounes (Postmedia’s Edmonton Journal) and Teslin, Yukon performing artist Melaina Sheldon.
The event included a performance by 2016 Long List nominee, Jean-Michel Blais. The announcement was streamed live on the Polaris Facebook page. Last night CBC Radio 2 featured a special hour-long broadcast celebrating the Long List on the Drive show.
Polaris also produced a Yukon-focused artists’ event with support from Government of Yukon’s Department of Economic Development. This event, held Tuesday night at The Town Hall in the Gold Rush Inn, included a panel discussion, demo listening and one-on-one meetings with Polaris jurors and local Yukon artists.
In total, 183 titles made the first ballots of the 192 member jury. Here, in alphabetical order, is the list.
2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List:
Art Bergmann – The Apostate
Justin Bieber – Purpose
Black Mountain – IV
Jean-Michel Blais – II
Basia Bulat – Good Advice
Daniel Caesar – Pilgrim's Paradise
Tanika Charles – Soul Run
City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You
Cœur de pirate – Roses
Dead Obies – Gesamtkunstwerk
Destroyer – Poison Season
Dilly Dally – Sore
Drake – VIEWS
Essaie pas – Demain est une autre nuit
Fred Fortin – Ultramarr
FOXTROTT – A Taller Us
Grimes – Art Angels
Half Moon Run – Sun Leads Me On
Veda Hille – Love Waves
Jazz Cartier – Hotel Paranoia
Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION
Junior Boys – Big Black Coat
Kaytranada – 99.9%
Jessy Lanza – Oh No
Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan
Michelle McAdorey – Into Her Future
Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale
Safia Nolin – Limoilou
Operators – Blue Wave
Peaches – Rub
PUP – The Dream Is Over
Daniel Romano – Mosey
Andy Shauf – The Party
The Strumbellas – Hope
Suuns – Hold/Still
U.S. Girls – Half Free
Un Blonde – Good Will Come To You
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
White Lung – Paradise
Donovan Woods – Hard Settle, Ain't Troubled
A perusal of the list confirms that there will be a first-time winner of the Polaris Prize this year, as no previous winners are included on the Long List. The nominees range from platinum-selling Grammy and Juno winning albums to records by artists whose names you may not recognize.
The Short List will be unveiled on July 14th at The Carlu in Toronto and the Polaris Music Prize Gala will return to The Carlu on Monday, September 19th. CBC Music and AUX.tv will stream the gala live.
The eligibility period for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize runs from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016. An independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada determines the Long List and Short List. Eleven people are selected from the larger jury pool to serve on the Grand Jury and they will convene the night of the gala to select the Polaris Music Prize winner.
The Polaris Music Prize will award $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year. Each of the nine other short listed artists will receive $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music. Judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration of genre or record sales, the prize’s past winners are Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007), and Final Fantasy / Owen Pallett (2006).