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Jury (and Jury Secrets!) Revealed

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The Polaris Music Prize is a juried award. What does that mean, you ask? It means the winner, as well as the short listed and long listed records, are selected by an independent body of jury members. Who are these people? Who are they selected? What do they do? Read on….

The Polaris jury is comprised of music journalists for newspapers and magazines, radio and television programmers, producers and hosts, bloggers, and the like. They devote their careers and/or lives to covering music. This year, there are more than 225 of them, and you can find their names on this website on the page we like to call “Jury”.

You might notice that our jury members come from across the country. This is no accident. Polaris is committed to representing all regions of Canada. We also care about diversity of media and gender. And bien sure, we welcome Francophones, from Quebec and beyond. All these people are invited to share their expertise and enthusiasm for Canadian music by voting for the annual prize.

How they do it is not a secret, but it is special: jury members submit a ballot of what they consider to be the five best Canadian recordings in any genre. These picks are vetted for eligibility and tabulated to form a Long List of 40 nominees. The jury then selects from this Long List and the Top 10 albums comprise the Short List. A smaller group of 11 jurors (“The Grand Juryâ€) select the winner the night of the gala ceremony.

Throughout the year, jury members participate in a private email group where they discuss and debate new releases. Here, they are able to suggest their favourites to the jury as a whole; with artist consent Polaris makes those records available for download to the jury members. In this way, we hope to help enable every eligible record, regardless of its promo budget, to be heard and considered.

Polaris applauds our volunteer army of jury members and invites you to visit their own sites (see links over on the right), where you’ll find plenty of great views and reviews and no doubt plenty of Polaris news.

This website is made possible with the support of Ontario Creates.

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