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Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Power In The Blood Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

Polaris Music Prize Gala 2015 Winner Buffy Sainte-Marie Carlu, Toronto - September 21, 2015. Photo by Dustin Rabin

Polaris Music Prize Gala 2015 winner Buffy Sainte-Marie. Photo by Dustin Rabin

Buffy Sainte-Marie has won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize for the album Power In The Blood, besting the nine other albums on the Polaris Short List.

Sainte-Marie performed the songs “Power In The Blood” and “Carry It On” during her Polaris Gala set.

The Prize, which goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on “artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation,” was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of roughly 200 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.

Held at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto, the evening featured performances by five of the 10 nominees, including include Alvvays, Braids, Jennifer Castle, Sainte-Marie and Viet Cong. Tobias Jesso Jr. and members of The New Pornographers and BADBADNOTGOOD were also in attendance. A number of past Polaris nominees acted as presenters at the Gala, including Owen Pallett for Buffy Sainte-Marie, Austra’s Katie Stelmanis for Braids, Shad for BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah, One Hundred Dollars/Fiver’s Simone Schmidt for Jennifer Castle, Junior Boys’ Jeremy Greenspan for Caribou, Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew for Tobias Jesso Jr., Corb Lund for The New Pornographers and Operators/Handsome Furs/Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner for Viet Cong. Additionally, Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake introduced Alvvays and high-profile Toronto city councillor Norm Kelly presented Drake.

The host for the evening was beloved children’s entertainer Fred Penner who delighted the industry-heavy audience by performing a medley featuring the nine previous Polaris winners..

The 2015 Polaris Music Prize Short List was:

Alvvays – Alvvays
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
Braids – Deep In The Iris
Caribou – Our Love
Jennifer Castle – Pink City
Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power In The Blood
Viet Cong – Viet Cong

The Grand Jury who decided the winner included Alicia Atout (A Music Blog Yea?), Sarah Greene (Exclaim), Ty Harper (City On My Back), Donna Hopper (Village Media), Ken Kelley (Music Nerd Chronicles), Sarah Kitteringham (Beatroute), Barnaby Marshall (New Canadian Music), Dave Morris (freelance), Alan Neal (CBC All In A Day), Renato Pagnani (Edmonton Journal) and Jen Zoratti (Winnipeg Free Press).

The prize’s past winners have included Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) (2006).

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