And the votes are in. Yesterday, The Polaris Music Prize, produced by Blue Ant Media, announced the winning albums for the 2016 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize today.
This Prize honours albums by Canadian artists released in the decades prior to the inauguration of the Polaris Prize.
The winners were chosen from four short lists, each representing a different musical era, and were curated by juries of music historians and music media. Two winners for each era were chosen – one by public vote and one by the juries. Voting opened at the Polaris Music Prize Gala on September 19 and ended on October 17.
The winners of the 2016 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize are:
Public: Neil Young - After The Gold Rush
Jury: Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Leonard Cohen
1976 - 1985
Public: Rush - Moving Pictures
Jury: Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Public: Blue Rodeo - Five Days In July
Jury: Mary Margaret O’Hara - Miss America
Public: Arcade Fire - Funeral
Jury: Lhasa - La Llorona
Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Communications, commended the winners, saying, “Congratulations to all the winning artists. I appreciate all the hard work and dedication that goes into creating these memorable recordings and am pleased to celebrate your achievement in receiving this recognition.”
Gilbert Li, who curated the 2016 Polaris Music Prize posters and the posters for the 2015 Heritage Prize, will return to select eight new artists to pay tribute to the winning records. The eight records that did not get selected as winners will remain on the short lists for the 2017 Heritage Prize. Two more records from the period, selected by the jury, will then be added. Where the jury and public picks for the winning record are the same, the next choice on the jury’s list is selected. This did not happen for the 2016 edition.
This jury selected records for the Heritage Prize in accordance with existing Polaris criteria; to honour and reward artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.
It is interesting to note that all of the winning artists come from either Toronto or Montreal, with each city laying claim to four.
Sadly, two of the winning artists, Kate McGarrigle and Lhasa, are no longer with us. Both died in 2010, age 53 and 37 respectively.