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Polaris Music Prize And CBC Music Reveal Short List Summer Broadcast Plans

It’s going to be a Short List Summer.

CBC Music, Polaris’ presenting sponsor, will be launching special programming to showcase the 2021 Polaris Music Prize Short List of 10 albums, which will be revealed July 15 on CBC Music. This includes 12 Polaris radio specials, which will delve into the history of past Polaris winners and take an in-depth look at this year’s Short List, all leading up to the 2021 Polaris Music Prize winner announcement on Monday, September 27.

CBC Music will kick off Short List Summer with a retrospective radio special called Polaris Rewind on Sunday, July 11 at 6 p.m. (6:30 NT). Hosted by A. Harmony, the special unearths stories from the last 15 years of the Polaris Prize as told by artists, jurors, and those behind the scenes.

The 10 album Polaris Short List will be announced live on Thursday, July 15 as part of a two-hour event hosted by A. Harmony starting at 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. AT, 4:30 NT) and available across Canada on CBC Music and CBC Listen. The special will reveal one Short List nominee every 12 minutes along with music from the nominated albums and insight from Polaris jurors. CBC Music will offer an encore broadcast of the special on Sunday, July 18 at 6 p.m.

Following the Short List reveal, CBC Music will kick into Short List Summer high gear with the Polaris Spotlight, an editorial series diving into each of the short-listed artists and their nominated albums, beginning Tuesday, July 20. Short List Summer will also be anchored by a CBC Music one-hour weekly radio special called The Ten, broadcasting each Sunday evening starting Sunday, July 25. Each week, the show will take an in-depth look at one of the 10 nominated albums in the lead up to the 2021 Polaris Prize winner announcement. Follow CBC Music on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook for more Polaris Music Prize content that will explore the Short List albums and the artists behind them.

2021 Polaris Music Prize Radio Special Dates

Sunday, July 11 at 6 p.m. (6:30 NT) – Polaris Rewind
Thursday, July 15 at 3 p.m. (4 p.m. AT, 4:30 NT) – 2021 Polaris Short List Special
Sunday, July 18 at 6 p.m. (6:30 NT) – *repeat* 2021 Polaris Short List Special
Sunday evenings starting Sunday, July 25 until Sunday, September 26 – The Ten

Due to the continued uncertainty around the return to public gatherings, Polaris has chosen to not host a winner Gala event this year. More details about the 2021 Polaris Music Prize winner reveal will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales. Additionally, the nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2021 Short List will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music. The 40 album 2021 Polaris Music Prize Long List was revealed June 15 and can be found here.

Albums eligible for 2021 Polaris Music Prize consideration must be released between May 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021. An independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers from across Canada determines the Long List and Short List. Eleven people from the larger jury pool are then chosen to serve on the Grand Jury. This Grand Jury will select the Polaris Music Prize winner.

The past winners are Backxwash (2020), Haviah Mighty (2019), Jeremy Dutcher (2018), 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).


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