The Prism Prize is going virtual. The 2020 edition of the annual show celebrating the best of Canadian music videos and their creators will take place on Thursday, July 23 at 8:00 PM ET on PrismPrize.com and the @PrismPrize Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 Prism Prize Grand Prize screening and awards presentation due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Prism Prize decided to keep all previously announced Top 20 artists in the running for the Grand Prize. A jury of over 120 Canadian creative arts professionals voted to determine the winner who will be awarded $20,000, increased from $15,000 thanks to a contribution from Stingray. Each of the runners-up listed in the Top 20 will receive a $500 cash prize courtesy of Slaight Music and RBCxMusic. The Audience Award will also be announced, a fan-voted prize awarded to a video from the Top 20.
Along with the Grand Prize and Audience Award winners, the Prism Prize will recognize several Special Award recipients in the upcoming virtual show including a new honour, the Willie Dunn Award. This is named after the groundbreaking Canadian singer-songwriter, film director and politician William “Willie” Dunn, whose 10-minute film for The Ballad of Crowfoot is often cited as “the first Canadian music video.” The award is presented to a Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music video production community. The recipient is asked to select an emerging Canadian music video creative to receive a $5,000 cash grant. The Willie Dunn Award’s mandate is to encourage the professional development of diverse creators within the Canadian music video industry.
The recipient of the Willie Dunn Award will be announced alongside honourees for the Special Achievement Award (Presented by Slaight Music, established to recognize an exceptional contribution to music video art on the world stage), the Hi-Fidelity Award (Supported by FACTOR, established to recognize recording artists who utilize music video in innovative ways), and the Lipsett Award (Sponsored by iHeart Radio, established to celebrate a unique approach to music video art) in the lead-up to the July 23rd show.
“The music video is one the of the most important vehicles for social and political commentary, something the great Willie Dunn pioneered with his urgent art that still resonates today,” said Louis Calabro, VP of Programming & Awards at the Canadian Academy and Founder of Prism Prize “In a time when art and music are being used to tell important stories, we are proud to help amplify artists working in music video, as well as to introduce the Willie Dunn Award, to foster the next generation of creators.”
“This namesake award is a special honour for Willie; an innovator that will continue to blaze trails for other filmmakers and artists, making the world a more loving and inclusive place for all,” said Willie Dunn’s family; Liz Moore, Lawrence & Kalloosit Dunn.
THE 2020 PRISM PRIZE TOP 20 (In alphabetical order):
Alaskan Tapes - And, We Disappear (Director: Meredith Hama-Brown)
BAMBII ft. Pamputtae - NITEVISION (Directors: BAMBII & Kostadin Kolev)
Basia Bulat - Your Girl (Director: Brian Dale Sokolowski)
Cartel Madras - Goonda Gold (Directors: Bhaveek Makan & Jashan Makan)
Clairmont The Second - Brick (Director: Clairmont The Second)
Daniel Caesar ft. Koffee - CYANIDE REMIX (Directors: Keavan Yazdani & Sean Brown)
Debby Friday - Fatal (Directors: Debby Friday & Ryan Ermacora)
DOOMSQUAD - General Hum (Director: Zak Tatham)
iskwē - Breaking Down (Director: Jessica Lea Fleming)
Jeremy Dutcher - Mehcinut (Directors: Chandler Levack & Jeremy Dutcher)
Jessie Reyez - Far Away (Director: Peter Huang)
Jordan Klassen - Virtuous Circle (Director: Farhad Ghaderi)
Mac DeMarco - Here Comes The Cowboy (Director: Cole Kush)
Orville Peck - Dead of Night (Director: Michael Maxxis)
PUP - Free at Last (Directors: PUP, Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, Amanda Fotes)
PUP - Kids (Director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)
Said The Whale - Record Shop (Director: Johnny Jansen)
Sam Tudor - Joseph in the Bathroom (Director: Lucas Hrubizna)
Shad - The Stone Throwers (Gone in a Blink) (Director: Matthew Progress)
Shay Lia - Good Together (Director: CARAZ)
ABOUT PRISM PRIZE
The Prism Prize is a national, juried award recognizing outstanding artistry in Canadian music videos, offering the largest cash prize in the world for music videos. Established in 2012, this annual honour gathers a jury of more than 120 Canadian music and film industry professionals to crown one video as the best of the year. The Prism Prize is a division of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy), an organization that shares the common goal of promoting and supporting homegrown Canadian creative projects while inspiring and developing the next generation of talent.
Previous winners of Prism Prize’s Grand Prize have included Kevan Funk for Belle Game’s Low (2019), Fantavious Fritz for Charlotte Day Wilson’s Work (2018), Martin C. Pariseau for Kaytranada’s Lite Spots (2017), Philip Sportel for Kalle Mattson’s Avalanche (2016), Chad VanGaalen for Timber Timbre’s Beat The Drum Slowly (2015), Emily Kai Bock for Arcade Fire’s Afterlife (2014), and Noah Pink for Rich Aucoin’s Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E (2013).
Prism Prize thanks its Patron Partner, Slaight Music, its Lead Partners, iHeartRadio Canada and FACTOR, and its Supporting Partners, William F. White International Inc.