Countdown to Gala
Long List / Jun 11
Short List / Jul 11
Polaris Gala / Sep 17
Heritage Prize / Oct TBA



12 New Visual Art Pieces To Debut At Polaris Poster Exhibition Throughout September In Toronto

The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, will be unveiling the 12 newest additions to its signature Polaris poster series with a special gallery takeover happening at Underscore Projects in Toronto, Ontario throughout September.

Polaris will debut its 12 new poster commissions during the Polaris Music Prize 2022 Poster Launch & Exhibition at Underscore Projects (1468 Dundas Street West), in Toronto, Ontario, happening between September 8-29. The reveal of the 12 new posters will take place during an invite-only reception happening Sept. 8, with public viewing welcome between 6:30-10 p.m. An accompanying online and social media rollout will happen Sept. 9. The Polaris Music Prize 2022 Poster Launch & Exhibition will be viewable Wednesdays to Fridays from 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays 4-8 p.m. Admission for the exhibit is free. Off-hour private viewings of the exhibit are also available by appointment by contacting Underscore Projects.

The Polaris Music Prize 2022 Poster Launch & Exhibition is curated by Odessa Dobbie. The poster show will also feature an installation by Toronto-based artist Lauren Pirie, whose work will also be present at this year’s Polaris Gala.

Each year 10 Canadian visual artists are commissioned to create a unique art piece inspired by a nominated album on the Polaris Music Prize Short List. These vivid graphic interpretations of the nominees’ music are then developed into limited edition, silk-screened prints. This year’s Short List poster creators are:

Sylvain Beaudry for Destroyer’s LABYRINTHITIS
Noel Nanton for Pierre Kwenders’ José Louis And The Paradox Of Love
Mathieu Dionne for Lisa Leblanc’s Chiac Disco
Stéphane Monnet for Hubert Lenoir’s PICTURA DE IPSE : Musique directe
Tallulah Fontaine for Kelly McMichael’s Waves
Josephine Guan for Ombiigizi’s Sewn Back Together
Mark Neil Balson for Ouri’s Frame of a Fauna
Ashley Floréal for Shad’s TAO
Dominic Ayre for Snotty Nose Rez Kids’s Life After
Kendra Yee for Charlotte Day Wilson’s ALPHA

Additionally, Polaris has also commissioned two new works to honour its most recent hall of fame Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize winners — Faith Nolan’s Africville and Nomeansno’s Wrong — with their own commemorative posters. These works, by Yazmin Monet Butcher and Jean deMers, respectively, will also debut at Underscore Projects.

This will also be made possible by the generous support of Crown Royal. As a proudly
Canadian whisky, Crown Royal is thrilled to raise a glass to the next generation of music royalty and celebrate Canadian artistry.

The poster artists were selected by Polaris and The Office of Gilbert Li and printed by Kid Icarus in Toronto.

This gallery takeover will be the first-ever large-scale exhibition of the Polaris poster archive.  Prints of the 12 new works will be available for purchase throughout September at Underscore Projects along with a thorough selection of other posters from the Polaris archive. A limited quantity of these pieces will also be made available at the Polaris Gala and will be made available for pre-order September 9 on the Polaris Music Prize website.

Polaris has commissioned over 200 original artworks as part of its poster program. Since the organization began in 2006, Polaris founder Steve Jordan commissioned unique “gig” posters featuring artwork inspired by the nominated albums. The posters produced were given as a gift to each of the 10 acts on a given year’s Short List. Several of these works have gone on to win prizes of their own from the likes of the Society of Illustrators and Communication Arts Annual. Select pieces have been exhibited at the National Arts Centre, the Canada Council, the London Museum and were featured in Heritage Toronto’s Sounds Like Toronto digital music history project. Additionally, Polaris prints are prominently displayed in the offices of leading cultural and music institutions.

The Polaris Music Prize 2022 Poster Launch & Exhibition will serve as an excellent opportunity to build anticipation for the marquee event in the Polaris calendar, the Polaris Gala, happening September 19 at The Carlu in Toronto. The 2022 Polaris Gala will feature performances by a number of the musical artists nominated on this year’s Short List. One of these artists will also be selected as this year’s Polaris Music Prize winner. General admission tickets to the Polaris Gala are currently available via Ticketmaster.

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. The nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2022 Short List will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music. Additionally, Polaris Music Prize has partnered with Play MPE to award the winning artist with a global music promotion distribution package for one release (single or album) worth up to $3,025 CAD. Play MPE will also gift all nine remaining Short List artists with distribution packages worth up to $1,000 CAD each.

The past winners are Cadence Weapon (2021), Backxwash (2020), Haviah Mighty (2019), Jeremy Dutcher (2018), Lido Pimienta (2017), Kaytranada (2016), Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), 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).

We acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.


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