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How to sneak into the gala (well, kinda)…

· by Polaris Music Prize

Every year around this time, we get asked the same question: “How do I get into the gala?â€

As it happens, the annual Polaris ceremony at the historic Masonic Temple hall in Toronto is invite-only, limited to artists and industry insiders. But fret not, music fans – this year, there are several ways for a few lucky members of the public to attend the big show on Sept. 19.

Here's a run-down of the great opportunities that may just get you into the gala to watch one of the ten Short Listed artists take home the $30,000 prize!

MusiCounts auction:

Awesome Canadian music-education charity MusiCounts is holding an online auction on eBay for your chance to bid on an exclusive Polaris gala packages that includes:

– Two return flights to Toronto from anywhere in Canada (courtesy of Flight Centre)
– Two tickets to the Polaris Prize gala
– Two nights accommodation at a Toronto hotel (courtesy of Tourism Toronto)

All proceeds of the auction will benefit MusiCounts. Click here to bid – you have until Sept. 12 at noon EST!

Pssst: MusiCounts is hosting a second Polaris-related auction as well: a chance to join MuchMusic host and Fucked Up lead singer Damian Abraham on stage during the gala to introduce the MusiCares promo clip! Click here to bid on that exclusive.

Edge 102.1/War Child auction

Another great auction comes courtesy of Toronto radio station Edge 102.1, benefitting War Child Canada (an organization that aims to help children in conflict-ridden regions). The Edge 102.1 auction runs until Sept. 15 at 9 pm EST, and the prize package includes:

– A pair of tickets to the gala
– A bundle of Short List albums, including vinyl copies of records from Austra, Braids, Destroyer, Hey Rosetta!, Ron Sexsmith, Colin Stetson, and Timber Timbre, as well as CD copies of the Arcade Fire and Galaxie albums.

The Polaris Golden Ticket!

You may have heard about the nifty new limited-edition Polaris 7-inches now available at select retailers with the purchase of any one of the Short List albums. The covers on the split singles are unmarked, making for a surprise once you get home to listen. Well, that's not the only surprise that could come along with that particular bonus: hidden amongst the Polaris 7-inches going out across Canada are four Golden Tickets to the gala. So take a deep breath, cross your fingers, and get out there and do a little record shopping this weekend!

The HP Polaris Screening Party

And, last but not least, don't forget about the HP Screening Party at the Drake Hotel – it's the only place to be to enter to win the ultimate VIP upgrade: gala tickets for two, shuttle service to the event in a Scion tC, and a brand-new HP Envy 14 Beats Edition notebook. But you have to be there to win! Eager beavers can pre-register here with Scion for a chance to secure your seat at the screening party and a CD by a Short List nominee.

And that's the rundown of ways to get into the gala – best of luck to all the intrepid fans of great Canadian music out there! With only ten days to go until the big show, time's a-tickin', so get clicking!

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