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2022 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize Winning Albums Announced

The Polaris Music Prize has announced albums from SNFU and Four the Moment have received 2022 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize designation.

This Polaris hall of fame-minded critics prize/public polling campaign is meant to celebrate classic Canadian albums created before Polaris began in 2006. Like the Polaris Music Prize, winners and nominees of the Heritage Prize are albums of the highest artistic distinction, without regard to sales or affiliations. Each year one album is designated by a public vote and one by the Polaris Heritage Prize jury.

Vancouver-via-Edmonton punk band SNFU’s album …And No One Else Wanted to Play from 1985 was chosen in the Heritage Prize public voting category, which ran this year from September 19 to October 14. Halifax, Nova Scotia-based a cappela gospel-folk group Four the Moment’s album We’re Still Standing from 1987 received Heritage designation by the 11-member Polaris Heritage Prize jury.

“Congratulations to SNFU and Four the Moment. The valuable, unique albums you created show the tremendous depth and quality of Canadian music. Thank you for making these important works of art,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Communications.

Four the Moment’s recognition comes four decades after they began creating music together.

“We are so deeply honoured, humbled and thrilled to be receiving the Polaris Heritage Prize,” said Four the Moment’s Delvina Bernard, in a statement. “When Four the Moment started its journey 40 years ago, we could not have imagined that songs written as feminist and Afrocentric testimonials of gender and racial social justice issues in Nova Scotia performed a capella would still hold sway today. Ironically, the injustices chronicled on the We’re Still Standing recording are unfortunately still with us. Despite this, we are pleased and proud to celebrate along with those who’ve supported our music mission over the decades as collaborators, inspirators and patrons. We are grateful to the Polaris Heritage Prize organization and jurors and to all who voted for us. We are equally indebted to all nominees whose exceptional musical works make these awards possible… it just feels so uplifting to know we’re still standing, and that a new and younger generation might just take note.”

SNFU dedicated their win to two of their late members.

“We are honoured by Polaris’s recognition of our first album …And No One Else Wanted to Play,” said SNFU’s Marc Belke and Brent Belke. “It’s humbling for SNFU to be mentioned in the same breath as the other nominees. It’s also gratifying that after almost 40 years the album’s impact is still being felt. We are thankful to our fans and friends who voted for this award. And we are thankful to Mark Stern, Shawn Stern and Gubby Svoboda, who, all those years ago, believed in us and pressed us to drive to Los Angeles to make the album. This award is dedicated to the lives of two people without whom this album would not exist: Mr. Chi Pig and Evan C. Jones. Love, respect, & 1, 2, SNFU.”

There were 12 nominated albums up for Heritage Prize consideration this year:

Lillian Allen – Revolutionary Tea Party
Bran Van 3000 – Glee
Leonard Cohen – Various Positions
Four the Moment – We’re Still Standing
k.d. lang – Ingénue
Kardinal Offishall – Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol 1
Martha and the Muffins – This is the Ice Age
Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy – Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy
Rascalz – Cash Crop
SNFU – …And No One Else Wanted to Play
Stars – Set Yourself on Fire
The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving

 Heritage Prize balloting was officially opened on Monday, Sept. 19 during the 2022 Polaris Gala, where Pierre Kwenders’ José Louis And The Paradox Of Love album was awarded the 17th annual Polaris Music Prize.

This year’s Heritage list features six returning nominated albums (Revolutionary Tea Party, Glee, Ingénue, This is the Ice Age, Set Yourself on Fire, and Left and Leaving) and six first-time album nominations (Various Positions, We’re Still Standing, Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol 1, Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy, Cash Crop and …And No One Else Wanted to Play). Voters were able to submit ballots once per day.

Heritage Prize winners are commemorated with limited-edition artwork commissioned and inspired by the music on these designated albums. Examples of past winners’ works, including those honouring the likes of last year’s winners Nomeansno and Faith Nolan, can be found HERE.

The Heritage Prize campaign represents the final marquee event in a Polaris season that also included the return of the live Polaris Gala spectacular on September 19, the Polaris Music Prize 2022 Poster Launch & Exhibition, a month-long gallery takeover at Underscore Projects (1486 Dundas Street West, Toronto), the 40 album Polaris Long List reveal on June 14, and the 10 album Short List reveal on July 14.

This year’s Heritage Prize jury included Michael Barclay, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Erin McLeod, Phyllis Grant, DJ MelBoogie, Morgan Mullin, Darcy MacDonald, Shawn Conner, Sandra Sperounes, Rob Bowman, and, for the first time, an official guest musician juror, Danko Jones.

“It was a stone cold honour to be asked to serve as juror on this year’s Heritage Prize selection committee,” said Jones. “Going through the process, it was easy to see Canada isn’t short on superb records. This year’s winners, SNFU’s …And No One Else Wanted to Play and Four the Moment’s We’re Still Standing, were fully deserving, and it feels gratifying to help bestow them with this great distinction.”

Thirty-seven albums have received Heritage Prize designation since its introduction in 2015. Past winning albums include Peaches’ The Teaches Of Peaches, Harmonium’s L’Heptade, Glenn Gould’s Bach: The Goldberg Variations, Dream Warriors’ And Now the Legacy Begins and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s It’s My Way!

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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