Polaris Music Prize Details Announced, Arcade Fire/Compilation Mix-Up Resolved

Details for the second annual Polaris Music Prize gala have been announced. The event, which awards a $20,000 prize for the year's best Canadian recording, will occur at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on September 24, with CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence assuming the role of host.

As previously reported, the nominees for the prize are:

Arcade Fire Neon Bible
The Besnard Lakes The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
The Dears Gang of Losers
Julie Doiron Woke Myself Up
Feist The Reminder
Junior Boys So This Is Goodbye
Miracle Fortress Five Roses
Joel Plaskett Emergency Ashtray Rock
Chad VanGaalen Skelliconnection
Patrick Watson Close To Paradise

Five of the artists nominated will perform at the ceremony: New Brunswick’s Julie Doiron, who will reunite with members of Eric’s Trip for this performance; Secret City labelmates and Montréalers Miracle Fortress and Patrick Watson; Halifax’s Joel Plaskett Emergency, and Calgary’s Chad VanGaalen.

As well, the the Polaris Music Prize organisation also released the names of the Gala Jury who will be deciding the winner that night.  They are:

Stuart Berman, Eye Weekly (Toronto)
Laurie Brown, CBC Radio 2 (Toronto)
Ben Conoley, here magazine (Fredericton)
Mike Doherty, National Post (Toronto)
Stephanie Domet, CBC Radio 1 (Halifax)
T'Cha Dunlevy, Gazette (Montréal)
Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Cam Lindsay, Exclaim! (Toronto)
Stéphane Martel, VOIR (Montréal)
Sandra Sperounes, Edmonton Journal (Edmonton)
John Sekerka, XPress (Ottawa)

Following last year's procedure, the jury will be deliberating while the show is happening; nobody in attendance will know the winner until the end of the evening. The Gala Jury members were selected from the larger Polaris Jury which determined the nominees this past summer. The Polaris Jury consists entirely of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers. No direct affiliation with any artist is a condition of jury selection.

Though the ceremony is invite-only, this year it will be broadcast live on Sirius Satellite radio, channel 94, for the satellite radio-owning public to enjoy.


In other Polaris news, the official Polaris Music Prize Nominees CD hit shops on Tuesday without an Arcade Fire track included. There has been some confusion over the exclusion, however, both the Polaris people and Arcade Fire's management have stepped up and explained the situation.

Jessica Zambri of Quest Management, Arcade Fire’s management office, released a statement saying:

"Arcade Fire has always had a firm policy to not participate in compilation style CD’s. They've felt strongly about releasing their own music. The Polaris Music Prize asked us if we'd like to contribute a song to their compilation of nominees and unfortunately our approval came too late to be included before the cd was manufactured.”

Meanwhile, Steve Jordan, Executive Director of the Polaris Music Prize, apologised for the confusion, adding: "In respecting the band’s wishes to not be included, we didn’t properly inform the public or anticipate the potential for confusion among their fans. For that, we apologise. We congratulate the band on their nomination and wish them luck when the winner is announced on September 24th.”