What you need to know about the 2020 Polaris Music Prize

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The 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration, presented by CBC Music, takes place Monday, October 19. This special cinematic event will stream live across numerous CBC Music properties and CBC Gem and will feature the live reveal of the 15th-ever Polaris Prize winner.

Here are all the things you need to know about 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration:

What are the 10 Short List albums that have a chance to win?

Backxwash – God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It
Caribou – Suddenly
Junia-T – Studio Monk
Kaytranada – Bubba
nêhiyawak – nipiy
Pantayo – Pantayo
Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia
Jessie Reyez – BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US
U.S. Girls – Heavy Light
Witch Prophet – DNA Activation

What is the 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration?

The 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration is a special cinematic tribute to the 10 musical acts on the 2020 Polaris Short List.

Due to COVID-19, for the safety and well-being of the Polaris community, Polaris chose to not host a Gala concert and winner event this year. Instead, Polaris invited Canadian filmmakers to create commissioned films inspired by each of the Short List-nominated albums. The Celebration event will mark the first public airing of these films.

How do I watch this event?

Hosted by CBC Music’s Saroja Coelho, the 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration will be available in Canada on the free CBC Gem streaming service, CBC Music’s FacebookTwitter and YouTube pages and around the globe at CBCMusic.ca/Polaris on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT). The 2020 Polaris-winning album will be revealed live at the end of this event by last year’s Polaris winner Haviah Mighty.

Additionally, each of the films will be available to view across CBC Music properties immediately following the conclusion of the Celebration event.

Are there new Polaris Posters this year?

There are. A 15-year tradition, these specially commissioned posters are inspired by the Short List-nominated albums and are given to each album’s respective artists as gifts. Cost for these posters are $40 + HST each. To see these posters as well as those from previous years, go HERE.

Additionally, Polaris will be presenting Short List-nominated acts and members of the Grand Jury with commemorative enamel “hot air balloon” pins. A limited few of these pins will also be available for purchase at a cost of $10 + HST each.

Is there another Polaris Cover Sessions vinyl record this year?

Yep. The Polaris Cover Sessions Vol. 6 seven-inch features Corb Lund covering Gordon Lightfoot’s “Oh, Linda” and Kaia Kater covering Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl.”

Watch videos of all our cover sessions HERE.

Listen to the nominees below:

What if I get thirsty from all of this?

Thankfully, the fine non-alcoholic brewers at Partake Brewing have a deal for you.

Partake in encore after encore with the discount code POLARIS10 for 10% off your order of a minimum of a single case of 24 from their online shop. This discount runs from October 19-25. 

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 2020 Short List will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music.

Albums eligible for 2020 Polaris Music Prize consideration must have been released between May 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020. 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 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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