Music-lovers and the Canadian music industry came together at the Polaris Music Prize Gala to celebrate and reward the best Canadian album of the past year.

This year the honour of the Polaris Music Prize went to post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperorfor "'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!" Although Godspeed chose not to attend the Gala, their talent, unique sound, and non-conformist ways were definitely remembered. Music journalist and author Jessica Hopper commemorated the band during the Gala by pointing out what a successful career a band can have by saying 'No'.

Indeed, they kept that streak alive with a statement released after their win, which included their promise to donate the $30,000 prize winnings to buy musical instruments for prisoners.


hello kanada.
hello kanadian music-writers.

thanks for the nomination thanks for the prize- it feels nice to be acknowledged by the Troubled Motherland when we so often feel orphaned here. and much respect for all y’all who write about local bands, who blow that horn loudly- because that trumpeting is crucial and necessary and important.

and much respect to the freelancers especially, because freelancing is a hard fucking gig, and almost all of us are freelancers now, right? falling and scrambling and hustling through these difficult times?

so yes, we are grateful, and yes we are humble and we are shy to complain when we’ve been acknowledged thusly- BUT HOLY SHIT AND HOLY COW- we’ve been plowing our field on the margins of weird culture for almost 20 years now, and “this scene is pretty cool but what it really fucking needs is an awards show” is not a thought that’s ever crossed our minds.

3 quick bullet-points that almost anybody could agree on maybe=

-holding a gala during a time of austerity and normalized decline is a weird thing to do.

-organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn’t serve the cause of righteous music at all.

-asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS FUCKING INSANE, and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.

these are hard times for everybody. and musicians’ blues are pretty low on the list of things in need of urgent correction BUT AND BUT if the point of this prize and party is acknowledging music-labor performed in the name of something other than quick money, well then maybe the next celebration should happen in a cruddier hall, without the corporate banners and culture overlords. and maybe a party thusly is long overdue- it would be truly nice to enjoy that hang, somewhere sometime where the point wasn’t just lazy money patting itself on the back.

give the money to the kids let ‘em put on their own goddamn parties, give the money to the olds and let them try to write opuses in spite of, but let the muchmusic videostars fight it out in the inconsequential middle, without gov’t. culture-money in their pockets.

us we’re gonna use the money to try to set up a program so that prisoners in quebec have musical instruments if they need them…

amen and amen.

apologies for being such bores,
we love you so much / our country is fucked,
godspeed you! black emperor

Taking place in Toronto's historic venue, The Carlu, where many music legends -- including Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Glen Gould -- have performed, the Polaris Prize Gala proved that Can-musicians are diverse, talented, and have overwhelmingly dedicated fans. Musical performances by the Short List nominees, from spine-chilling voice (and choreography) of Zaki Ibrahim to the surreal, and multi-layered sounds of sax player Colin Stetson, gave the attendees a generous taste of the many flavours of Canadian music.

HuffPost.Ca Music
Who needs air conditioning when you have Purity Ring bringing the icy electro?

Co-hosts, and past nominees, Shad and Kathleen Edwards kept the audience entertained with witty and silly humour, giving the attendees many occasions to contribute to the 'Kathleen Edwards Swear Jar', with all proceeds going to Canada's music education charity, MusiCounts.

Death From Above's Sebastian Grainger introduced Metric and deemed their album "Synthetica" as "the future and the past." Film and TV Writer and Director Martin Gero introduced musician Colin Stetson - who pulled out the biggest sax in saxophone history during his performance - assuring the audience that Stetson's music "is unlike anything you've ever heard before." Judging by the audience's eager clapping post performance, we'd say they agreed.

Polaris Prize-nominated artists Tegan and Sara couldn't make it to this year's Gala, but their hit song "Closer" was performed by Choir! Choir! Choir!; a brilliant move that highlighted the touching and humbling side of music.

The evening wasn't without surprises: Sarah McLachlan appeared as surprise guest to introduce Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet, who "tie the musical knot with Whitehorse".

Tegan and Sara
Such a beautiful performance by

While introducing the METZ Canadian Indie Rock singer and songwriter Bry Webb, encouraged the crowd to "celebrate good people, celebrate loud music, celebrate your younger self."

The evening's performances came to an end with 2008 Giller-prize winner Joseph Boyden introducing the last, but definitely not least, nominee of the night, A Tribe Called Red: "Listen to their electric pow-wow, and I dare your body not to start moving, your legs, your pounding heart, your nodding head."

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  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (Full Album)

    Here's the complete new album of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Track list 1. Mladic 00:10 2. Their Helicopters' Sing 20:20 3. We Drift Like Worried Fire 27:00...

  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor - ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

  • A Tribe Called Red - Nation II Nation

  • Metric - Synthetica

  • Zaki Ibrahim - Every Opposite

  • Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob

  • Young Galaxy - Ultramarine

  • Whitehorse - The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss

  • Purity Ring - Shrines


  • Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light

  • How Tegan and Sara wrote "Closer" - Road to Polaris

  • Metz's year of dogs and touring - Road to Polaris

  • A Tribe Called Red connect with Idle No More - Road to Polaris

  • Zaki Ibrahim "Every Opposite" making-of - Road to Polaris

  • Whitehorse's Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland in the studio - Road to Polaris

  • Metric take it from the studio to the stage - Road to Polaris

  • Young Galaxy's Swedish adventure - Road to Polaris

  • Colin Stetson reflects on his solo trilogy and the influence of Bon Iver - Road to Polaris

  • Polaris Prize Long List Nominees

  • Tegan and Sara - Closer [OFFICIAL HD MUSIC VIDEO]

    2012 WMG "Closer" by Tegan and Sara, from the album Heartthrob. Get it on iTunes! Links: Facebook:

  • METRIC - Breathing Underwater [Official Video]

    Synthetica Deluxe will be available November 20th. Synthetica, featuring "Breathing Underwater," is available on iTunes: ...

  • Zaki Ibrahim - 'Go Widdit' (HD)

    GoWiddit video featuring Vintage Cru. From the album #EveryOpposite | © 2012 Motif Records Director: Zandi Tisani Producers: Laurence Hamburger, Zandi Tisan...

  • Purity Ring - Fineshrine

    From the album "Shrines" out July 23(UK)/24(US and Canada) - Directed by Young Replicant - http://purityr...

  • YOUNG GALAXY - Pretty Boy (Single)

    Paper Bag Records 2013 - Young Galaxy Ultramarine out April 23 worldwide.

  • Metz - Wasted [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

    Subscribe To Sub Pop's YouTube Channel METZ YouTube Playlist

  • Colin Stetson - To See More Light

    Colin Stetson - To See More Light from New History Warfare Vol 3.

  • 'Emerald Isle' by Whitehorse The duo of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland aka Whitehorse performed for CBC Radio 2's Drive in Studio 211.

  • The Other 30 Albums From The Polaris Prize Long List

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  • Daphni - Ye Ye

    Video by: Jane Eastlight From the upcoming album JIAOLONG by Daphni. JIAOLONG005 Tracklist: Yes, I Know Cos-Ber-Zam - Ne Noy...

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    Mac DeMarco '2' LP/CD/MP3 now available worldwide on Captured Tracks iTunes: LP/CD: Director: Alex Lill Producer: Car...

  • Evening Hymns- Dead Deer (official video)

    from the album 'Spirit Guides' available on iTunes: new album now available: http://eveninghymns....

  • Hannah Georgas "The Beat Stuff"

    Hannah Georgas The Beat Stuff featuring Spencer from Said The Whale

  • Chilly Gonzales - White Keys (from SOLO PIANO II)

    White Keys from SOLO PIANO II Presented in PIANOVISION Album out now! Order your Deluxe Version on iTunes now: Follow us on Fac...

  • Jim Guthrie - Bring on the Night

    From the album - Takes Time by Jim Guthrie @jampants Available May 7th, 2013 on Static Clang Bandcamp:

  • Hayden - Rainy Saturday [Official Video]

    Official music video for "Rainy Saturday" from 'Us Alone' available now on Arts & Crafts. BUY PHYSICAL & MERCH: BUY ...

  • Alaclair Ensemble & K6A - Brizasseurs de Fizzoules

    Réalisé par Max Pouliot et Créations Rivales Production: Robert Nelson et le Alaclair High Réal.: Max P...

  • KEN mode - "Counter Culture Complex" (Official Music Video)

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  • Kid Koala - '8 bit Blues (Chicago to LA to NY)' (Official Video)

    Official video for Kid Koala's '8 bit Blues', taken from the album '12 bit Blues', released 17 September 2012 on Ninja Tune. Buy at the Ninjashop: http://bit...

  • Kobo Town - Across the Dark Waters

    Great tune off de album call Independence Stand up Trinidad! I don own any rights to dis tune nor de picture. Jus put it up for everyone to enjoy.

  • Pierre Lapointe - PUNKT

    Réalisation: Alexandre Grégoire


    Official award-winning music video for Lee Harvey Osmond's "I'm Gonna Stay That Way" by director Ryan Furlong. Title: I'm Gonna Stay That Way Artist: LEE HAR...

  • Les sœurs Boulay || Par le chignon du cou [vidéoclip officiel]

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  • Corb Lund - Gettin' Down on the Mountain (Online Exclusive)

    Gettin' Down on the Mountain - share it! #cabinfever From the new album, 'Cabin Fever' in stores & online worldwide August 14, 2012 via New West Records. "We...

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