The Polaris Music Prize announced the winning albums for the 2017 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize Wednesday, in a live Facebook stream featuring Prize founder Steve Jordan, and Toronto Star music critic and Heritage Prize juror Ben Rayner.
The eight winning albums, selected from four shortlists, representing different musical eras, including four titles the public voted on and four by a jury.
The albums that failed to make winners cut will remain on the shortlists for the 2018 Heritage Prize. Two more records from each period are to be selected by the jury.
The jury selected records for the Prize by 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 our version of a “hall of fame.”
Slaight Communications CEO/President Gary Slaight offered congratulations to the winning artists. His affiliated company, Slaight Music, is the lead sponsor of the Heritage Prize.
"Congratulations to all the winning artists. You’ve created important, memorable recordings that have had a lasting impact on the musical landscape. I have tremendous appreciation for the work that has gone into creating these timeless albums,“ Slaight said in a statement.
Jury foreperson Mary Dickie offered her thoughts: "It’s not easy to designate one album for each decade of Canadian music as the country’s best, choosing from all the different genres and local scenes and weighing musicianship, influence, innovation and lasting impact. The 2017 Heritage Prize jury listened hard, argued harder and eventually came up with this brilliant and diverse list of Canadian classics. Congratulations to all the winners."
The winners of the 2017 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize are:
Public: Gordon Lightfoot — Lightfoot! — The folk songsmith's debut album, recorded in late 1964 and released in January 1966 on the United Artists label, includes "Early Morning Rain, " "Oh, Linda," and "Steel Rail Blues."
Jury: The Band — The Band — Released in September 1969, this is the group' follow-up their classic 1968 Music From Big Pink debut. The album includes many of The Band's best-known and critically acclaimed songs, including "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Rag Mama Rag," and "Up On Cripple Creek."
1976 – 1985
Public: Harmonium — L’Heptade — This is the third and final album from the Quebec group led by Serge Fiori. Released in 1976 as a double-LP, L'Heptade is considered one of the most important Québécois albums ever and has gone on to sell 400,000+ copies since its release. A remastered edition was released last year, entitled L'Heptade XL.
Jury: Glenn Gould – Bach: The Goldberg Variations — The classical pianist first recorded Bach: The Goldberg Variations in 1955, then revisited this material with a second studio version in 1981. This edition proved to be the last visit to the recording studio for Gould and greatly helped cement his reputation as one of the foremost pianists of the 20th century
Public: The Tragically Hip — Fully Completely —This is the third studio album by the group. Released in October 1992, it includes favourites such as "Locked in the Trunk of a Car," "Fifty Mission Cap," "Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)," and "At the Hundredth Meridian." The album was certified Diamond in Canada in January for sales of one million copies.
Jury: Eric’s Trip — Love Tara — This was the first full-length album by the New Brunswick-based indie rock band. It was also the first release by a Canadian artist on the Sub Pop label. Members Julie Doiron and Rick White later put out solo records.
Public: Feist — Let It Die — The second album by the singer/songwriter, it was the one that brought her international fame in 2004. It won the 2005 Juno Award for Best Alternative Album, and includes Feist faves such as "Secret Heart," "Inside and Out," and "Mushaboom." Feist won the Polaris Music Prize in 2012 for her album, Metals.
Jury: k-os — Joyful Rebellion — This is the second album from crossover hip-hop artist. Released in August 2004, it debuted at #7 on the Canadian Albums Chart and went on to earn platinum status. The hit single "Crabbuckit" won the '05 Juno for Single of the Year, while other singles "Man I Used To Be" and "B-Boy Stance" also won industry awards.
See the full list of 2017 Heritage Prize nominees here
The 2017 Polaris Heritage Prize is supported by Slaight Music and Re:Sound.