Claire Dagenais Named ED Of Polaris Music Prize

The Polaris Music Prize’s board of directors has announced Claire Dagenais as its new Executive Director. Dagenais will oversee all aspects of the not-for-profit organization, including the annual Polaris Gala, its Short and Long Lists, the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, the Polaris Cover Sessions, Polaris Poster and Community Development programs as well as new initiatives.

Polaris’ first-ever employee, Dagenais has worked on every aspect of the organization since her hire in 2010. Dagenais takes over from Polaris founder and board of directors member Steve Jordan, who recently took a position at CBC Music. Her new role and duties are effective immediately.

“I’m incredibly excited to continue the Polaris mission of celebrating magical Canadian music and look forward to being a guardian of the Prize. I’ve been exposed to so many incredible artists making incredible music while at Polaris and I want to use this opportunity to help others experience those same thrilling moments,” said Dagenais in a press release.

“We’ve seen Claire’s tireless efforts on behalf of the Prize over the years and know it’s in perfect hands. She has worked closely with our juries and nominees as well as Polaris’ media partners, event producers, sponsors and supporters. It feels natural to have Claire continue to shepherd Polaris now and into the future,” said Miro Oballa, chair, Polaris Music Prize board of directors.

Additionally, Polaris Communications Manager Aaron Brophy, a first-year Polaris Grand Juror, will take on an expanded role with the organization. 

The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales. Additionally, the nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2020 Short List will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music.

The 40 albums Long List for the 15th edition of the prize will be announced on June 15. The 10 album Short List will be unveiled on July 15. This year’s Polaris Gala is September 21 at The Carlu in Toronto, ON, and it will be streamed live around the world at

Leave a comment