Jeremy Dutcher has won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize for the album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Jeremy Dutcher has won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize for the album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa.
“Psiw-te npomawsuwinuwok, kiluwaw yut. All my people, this is for you.” — Jeremy Dutcher
The Prize, which was presented by CBC Music, goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation. It was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of almost 200 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.
Dutcher’s victory came with a $50,000 monetary reward. The nine other Short List nominees each received $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.
Held at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto, the evening featured performances by eight of the 10 Polaris nominees. These included Jean-Michel Blais, Jeremy Dutcher, Hubert Lenoir, Pierre Kwenders, Partner, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, U.S. Girls and Weaves.
Daniel Caesar was also in attendance. Alvvays were unable to attend the Polaris Gala due to touring commitments, but were represented by Deep Vvaters, a band from Toronto’s Girl’s Rock Camp.
Throughout the evening there were a number of testimonials on behalf of the various nominees, including some from past Polaris winners. Arcade Fire’s Win Butler spoke on behalf of Kwenders, Karkwa’s Louis-Jean Cormier supported Lenoir and Tanya Tagaq advocated for Weaves. Babyface, George Stroumboulopoulos, Safia Nolin and Gang Gang Dance’s Lizzi Bougatsos were some of the evening’s other testifiers.
The emcee for the evening was host of Mornings on CBC Music and Polaris juror Raina Douris.
The 2018 Polaris Short List was:
Alvvays – Antisocialites
Jean-Michel Blais – Dans ma main
Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Jeremy Dutcher – Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Pierre Kwenders – MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time
Hubert Lenoir – Darlène
Partner – In Search Of Lost Time
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Average Savage
U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited
Weaves – Wide Open
The Grand Jury who decided the winner included Matt Carter (Grid City Magazine), J.D. Considine (freelance journalist), Jill Krajewski (Noisey / Vice), Erin Lowers (Exclaim!), Dustin Riel McGladrey (Aboriginal Multimedia Society of Alberta, CFWE FM), Marie Mello (freelance journalist), Marc-André Mongrain (Sors-tu.ca / Radio-Canada), Anubha Momin (freelance journalist), Josh O’Kane (The Globe and Mail), Rosina Riccardo (CJAM FM) and Kate Wilson (The Georgia Straight).
“As always, the jury faced a tough task choosing between 10 excellent Canadian albums,” commented Katherine Duncan, who oversaw the Grand Jury. “They responded with total commitment, careful listening — to the music, and to each other — and passionate, respectful debate. It’s an honour to congratulate our 2018 Polaris Music Prize winner!”
The prize’s past winners are 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).