All contenders in this year's long list
All contenders in this year's long list

Long List Of Polaris Hopefuls Unveiled

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 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).



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