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



2021 Polaris Music Prize Long List Is Here

The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, has revealed its 40 album Long List. This year’s Long List is presented by Canada Council for the Arts.

The 2021 Polaris Music Prize Long List is:

Art Bergmann – Late Stage Empire Dementia
Bernice – Eau De Bonjourno
The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – Theory of Ice
Cadence Weapon – Parallel World
Charlotte Cardin – Phoenix
CFCF – memoryland
Clairmont The Second – IT’S NOT HOW IT SOUNDS
Helena Deland – Someone New
DijahSB – Head Above The Waters
Kathleen Edwards – Total Freedom
Dominique Fils-Aimé – Three Little Words
Fiver with the Atlantic School of Spontaneous Composition – Fiver with the Atlantic School of Spontaneous Composition
Thanya Iyer – KIND
Yves Jarvis – Sundry Rock Song Stock
Rochelle Jordan – Play With the Changes
LAL – Meteors Could Come Down
Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun
Thierry Larose – Cantalou
Russell Louder – Humor
Elliot Maginot – Easy Morning
Mustafa – When Smoke Rises
Laura Niquay – Waska Matisiwin
Nyssa – Girls Like Me
The OBGMs – The Ends
Dorothea Paas – Anything Can’t Happen
Klô Pelgag – Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs
Savannah Ré – Opia
Allison Russell – Outside Child
Julien Sagot – Sagot
Sargeant X Comrade – Magic Radio
Shabason, Krgovich & Harris – Philadelphia
Yu Su – Yellow River Blue
Julian Taylor – The Ridge
TEKE::TEKE – Shirushi
Vagina Witchcraft – Vagina Witchcraft
The Weather Station – Ignorance
Zoon – Bleached Wavves

In total, 204 albums were considered for the Long List by the 199 member jury.

“In these challenging times, art, now more than ever, has a vital role to play in our collective healing and recovery. The power of art endures and music is an essential need. The Canada Council for the Arts is proud to associate itself with the Polaris Prize in presenting innovative and creative musical works that celebrate the soundtrack of this current moment,” said Carolyn Warren, Director General, Arts Granting Programs Division, Canada Council for the Arts.

This year’s Long List was unveiled in a video broadcast via the Polaris Facebook page and YouTube channels. An exceptional cast of past Polaris nominees were enlisted to present each Long List album. These presenters included Anachnid, Begonia, Black Mountain/Lightning Dust’s Amber Webber, Wolf Parade/Operators’ Dan Boeckner, Louise Burns, Cancer Bats’ Liam Cormier, Tanika Charles, City and Colour, Charlotte Cornfield, Rose Cousins, D-Sisive, The Dears, Jeremy Dutcher, FET.NAT’s Olivier Fairfield, The Halluci Nation, Sarah Harmer, Zaki Ibrahim, Ice Cream, Kaia Kater, Salomé Leclerc, Les Louanges, Haviah Mighty, OBUXUM, P’tit Belliveau, Owen Pallett, Pantayo, Joel Plaskett, Shad, Andy Shauf, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Alexandra Stréliski, Super Duty Tough Work, Wares, Witch Prophet as well as a number of Polaris jurors.

Additionally, 2021 nominee Cadence Weapon performed “On Me” and “Skyline” from their Parallel World album as part of the reveal event.

The 10 album Short List will be unveiled live on July 15 as part of a two-hour special during Drive on CBC Music. An encore broadcast of the special will be available on CBC Music, Sunday, July 18 at 10 p.m. The 2021 Polaris Music Prize-winning album will be revealed in the fall via CBC Music. More details on this will be announced in the coming weeks. Leading up to the reveal of the Short List, CBC Music will have a retrospective special on Sunday, July 11 at 10 p.m.

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. Additionally, the nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2021 Short List will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music.

Albums eligible for 2021 Polaris Music Prize consideration must be released between May 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021. An independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers from across Canada determines the Long List and Short List. Eleven people from the larger jury pool are then chosen to serve on the Grand Jury. This Grand Jury will select the Polaris Music Prize winner.

The past winners are 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).


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