Polaris Prize announces performers for the 2016 Gala

By Regina Sienra

The Polaris Music Prize has announced both the performers and the members of the Grand Jury for its 2016 edition. Seven out of the ten shortlist nominees will play at the gala, which will take place on Monday, September 19 at The Carlu in Toronto.

Andy Shauf, Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, U.S. Girls and White Lung will perform that night. Grimes and Kaytranada, who are also shortlist nominees, will be attending. PUP won’t be part of the ceremony because they will be on a month-long European tour. The Toronto band has a show in Austria that day.

The members of Grand Jury – which will be voting for the 2016 Polaris Prize winner on the night of the gala – are:

Adrien Begrand (freelance)
Lisa Christiansen (CBC Radio One – Vancouver)
Del Cowie (CBC Music)
Howard Druckman (SOCAN Words & Music)
Lana Gay (Indie 88)
Carla Gillis (NOW Magazine)
Andrew King (Canadian Musician)
Lisa Lagace (Turn The Record Over)
Trevor Risk (Ion Magazine)
Joni Sadler (CKUT)
Fateema Sayani (Ottawa Magazine).

Limited balcony tickets to the gala are available on Ticketfly.

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Are you tuning in to the Polaris Prize gala on September? Who are you rooting for? What songs are you hoping to hear that night? Let us know in the comments.


Polaris Shortlist Announced

The countdown clock is finally winding down. We’re just hours away from the announcement of this year’s Polaris Music Prize Shortlist. The 40 albums below will soon cut down to ten.

  • Art Bergmann, The Apostate
  • Justin Bieber, Purpose
  • Black Mountain, IV
  • Jean-Michel Blais, Il
  • Basia Bulat, Good Advice
  • Daniel Caesar, Pilgrim’s Paradise
  • Tanika Charles, Soul RunD
  • 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

The livestream now over at what do you think of this list?

Polaris 2016 Facts

  • This is perhaps the most “mainstream” long list ever produced by Polaris, featuring the likes of Justin Beiber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Drake and The Weeknd
  • Just one album on this year’s long list is a self-titled release; that of Majid Jordan
  • This year’s nominees aren’t big on punctuation. Just five albums feature anything beyond the alphanumeric in their titles. Donovan Woods was the most diverse in his punctuating, using both a comma and an apostrophe in Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled. Bullet points and apostrophes appear most often with two each (Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION, Donovan Woods’ nomination and Daniel Caesar’s Pilgrim’s Paradise)
  • Dead Obies take the prize for this year’s tongue twister. Hoping they make the Shortlist just so we can hear the announcer and all the radio hosts stumble over Gesamtkunstwerk
  • You’re not too badly off this year if you didn’t pay attention in French class. Essaie pas and Coeur de Pirate are the only glaringly obvious francophone artists on the list (correct me if there are more,) and Coeur is significantly bilingual on Roses
  • This post is the most tagged ever (81!) in OurBasement’s short history

Relisten to DarBarSpecial’s Polaris Long List Playlist!

Open call for Polaris Music Prize poster designers

As if the $77,000 in total prize money ($50K to the winner, $3,000 for each short-lister) weren’t enough, every year the Polaris Music Prize releases a series of posters, one for each act on the ten-album shortlist (to be announced in about 11 days,) commemorating their nomination with a unique piece of art presented to the artists on the night of the gala. A limited quantity of additional copies of the posters are up for sale on the Polaris Music Prize store. Be forewarned, though, many have already sold out.

This year, Polaris is sending out an open call for designers to create these special works. Artists interested in designing a poster should submit a link or PDF with samples of their previous artwork. (They are asking artists to not submit sketches for these posters).

Besides the bragging rights, designers chosen will receive a $200 flat fee for the artwork, 10 18×24 screen prints (from a limited run of 44), 20 postcard-size digital prints and Polaris will link back to the artist’s website whenever possible. 

The deadline for application is Friday, July 8th. Polaris will contact their chosen artists on Monday, July 18th. For more information, or if you want to apply, submit your application here. This contest is open to Canadian artists only. 

We’ve put together a collection below of some of our favourites from years past. Which do you prefer? Tell us in the comments and tune in later for more Polaris news.

The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse was reined in on the 2007 Polaris Prize shortlist. Todd Stewart gave them this design as a commemoration.
Joel Plaskett's Ashtray Rock
Way back in 2007, Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock got a shortlist spot and got this poster. (Design credit unknown)









The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
Todd Stewart returned to commemorate the second The Besnard Lakes nomination in 2010 for The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night.
BSS' Forgiveness Rock Record
The last BSS record we’ve got (thus far,) Forgiveness Rock Record was shortlisted in 2010. Andrew McCracken designed this poster to commemorate the occasion.
Dan Mangan's Nice, Nice, Very Nice
A simple design for a complex album. Justin Lafontaine made this poster for Dan Mangan’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice in 2010.
Kathleen Edward's Voyageur
In 2012, Kirsten McCrea designed this beautiful poster to commemorate Kathleen Edwards’ nomination for Voyageur.
Whitehorse's The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss
This vintage-style design by Fish Bone Prints commemorated the shortlisting of The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss by Whitehorse.
Andrew Kolb's commemorative poster for YAMANTAKA//SONIC TITAN's Polaris shortlisted album UZU.
This is Andrew Kolb‘s commemorative poster for YAMANTAKA//SONIC TITAN’s Polaris shortlisted album UZU.
























Braids' Deep in the Iris
Braids got her second shortlist spot last year with Deep in the Iris. This poster was put together by Byron Eggenschwiler to honour it.
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Power in the Blood
In addition to winning last year’s Polaris Music Prize, Power in the Blood by Buffy Sainte-Marie was commemorated by this poster from Cai Sepuis.