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



2021 Polaris Short List Is Here

The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, has unveiled the 10 albums on the 2021 Short List.

The 2021 Polaris Music Prize Short List is:

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – Theory of Ice
Cadence Weapon – Parallel World
DijahSB – Head Above The Waters
Dominique Fils-Aimé – Three Little Words
Mustafa – When Smoke Rises
The OBGMs – The Ends
Klô Pelgag – Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs
TOBi – Elements Vol. 1
The Weather Station – Ignorance
Zoon – Bleached Wavves

“This year’s Short List is an excellent snapshot of artists on the genreless, limitless vanguard of Canadian music. Congratulations to the nominees, and thank you to our devoted community of jurors for their time and care spent crafting this list. After the year everyone’s had, we all could use a moment of reprieve. Consider this your invitation to give all 10 remarkable albums a generous spin,” said Polaris jury foreperson Melissa Vincent.

The new nominees were revealed during the Polaris Short List Special, which aired earlier today across Canada via CBC Music and CBC Listen Hosted by A. Harmony, the special featured music from the Short List nominees as well as in-depth interviews with CBC personalities and Polaris jurors. An encore broadcast of the special will air on CBC Music, Sunday, July 18 at 6 p.m.

With the announcement of the 10 nominated albums CBC Music is kicking off the Short List Summer, a sprawling, season-long deep dive into the nominated records and the artists who made them.

This Short List Summer will include the Polaris Spotlight, an editorial series diving into each of the short-listed artists and their nominated albums, beginning Tuesday, July 20. This will be capped every Sunday with a one-hour CBC Music radio special called The Ten, starting Sunday, July 25. Each week, the show will take an in-depth look at one of the 10 nominated albums in the lead-up to the 2021 Polaris Prize winner announcement. Follow CBC Music on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook for more Polaris Music Prize content that will explore the Short List albums and the artists behind them.

Polaris Short List Summer 2021 Calendar

Tuesday, July 20 – Polaris Spotlight: Cadence Weapon’s Parallel World on
Sunday, July 25The Ten: Cadence Weapon broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, July 27 – Polaris Spotlight: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s Theory of Ice on
Sunday, August 1The Ten: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, August 3 – Polaris Spotlight: TOBi’s Elements Vol. 1 on
Sunday, August 8The Ten: TOBi broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, August 10 – Polaris Spotlight: Klô Pelgag’s Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs on
Sunday, August 15The Ten: Klô Pelgag broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, August 17 – Polaris Spotlight: Dominique Fils-Aimé’s Three Little Words on
Sunday, August 22The Ten: Dominique Fils-Aimé broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, August 24 – Polaris Spotlight: DijahSB’s Head Above The Waters on
Sunday, August 29The Ten: DijahSB broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, August 31 – Polaris Spotlight: Zoon’s Bleached Wavves on
Sunday, September 5The Ten: Zoon broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, September 7 – Polaris Spotlight: The OBGMs’ The Ends on
Sunday, September 12The Ten: The OBGMs broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, September 14 – Polaris Spotlight: Mustafa’s When Smoke Rises on
Sunday, September 19The Ten: Mustafa broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Tuesday, September 21 – Polaris Spotlight: The Weather Station’s Ignorance on
Sunday, September 26The Ten: The Weather Station broadcast on CBC Music and CBC Listen

Due to the continued uncertainty around returns to public gatherings, Polaris has chosen to not host a winner Gala event this year. More details about the 2021 Polaris Music Prize winner reveal on September 27, 2021 will be announced in the coming weeks.

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. New for 2021, 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.

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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