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Lido Pimienta’s ‘La Papessa’ Has Won The 2017 Polaris Music Prize

Lido Pimienta La Papessa

Lido Pimienta La Papessa

Lido Pimienta has won the 2017 Polaris Music Prize for the album La Papessa.

“Not in English, not in French. But we’re here,” said Pimienta after accepting the award.

The Prize, which was presented by CBC Music and produced by Blue Ant Media, 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.

Held at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto, the evening featured performances by six of the 10 nominees, including include Pimienta, Weaves, Leif Vollebekk, Tanya Tagaq, Feist and Lisa Leblanc.  The evening also featured the exclusive worldwide debut of Leonard Cohen’s new video for “Leaving the Table,” directed by Christopher Mills.

A Tribe Called Red and members of BADBADNOTGOOD were also in attendance.

There were a number of high-profile testimonials on behalf of the various nominees throughout the evening. These included Nick Cave speaking on behalf of Leonard Cohen, Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew supporting Gord Downie, Saul Williams backing A Tribe Called Red, author Naomi Klein talking up Lido Pimienta and Perfume Genius endorsing Tanya Tagaq.

Pimienta’s victory came with a $50,000 monetary reward. The nine other Short List nominees each received $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.

The emcee for the evening was CBC Radio 2 morning host and Polaris juror Raina Douris.

The 2017 Polaris Short List was:

A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation


Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker

Gord Downie – Secret Path

Feist – Pleasure

Lisa LeBlanc – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?

Lido Pimienta – La Papessa

Tanya Tagaq – Retribution

Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude

Weaves – Weaves

The Grand Jury who decided the winner included Brian Cleveland (CFMH), Francella Fiallos (CKDU), Erin Flynn (CHUO 89.1FM), Vish Khanna (Kreative Kontrol), Nick Krewen (Freelance Journalist), Erik Leijon (Freelance Journalist), Tara McCarthy (CBC Radio One), Catherine Pogonat (Radio-Canada), Sandra Sperounes (Capital City Records), Laura Stanley (Freelance Journalist) and Brad Wheeler (The Globe And Mail).

“This year’s grand jury approached their task with passion, intellect and heart,” commented Katherine Duncan, who oversaw the Grand Jury. “Our winner emerged as a result of a year of dedicated listening, and many hours of thoughtful, inspiring debate. What a privilege it is to congratulate the winner of the 2017 Polaris Music Prize!”

The prize’s past winners have included 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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