Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Main Source Win Polaris Heritage Prize

BY Allie GregoryPublished Nov 16, 2020

Following Backxwash's 2020 Polaris Music Prize win, the Canadian music organization has awarded the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize to three Canadian albums, including Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Keyboard Fantasies, Buffy Sainte-Marie's debut album It's My Way! and Main Source's Breaking Atoms.

As with years past, the designation honours Canadian albums from four eras, 1960-75, 1976-85, 1986-95 and 1996-05. Glenn-Copeland's 1986 record won this year's honours through Re:Sound's public vote, while a 10-person jury determined a tie between Sainte-Marie's 1964 record and Main Source's 1991 album.

Glenn-Copeland has issued the following statement about his win:

I am deeply grateful to be the recipient of the Polaris Heritage Prize for Keyboard Fantasies in 2020. All those years ago when I wrote this music my wish was that I might be able to sell the few copies my little company was able to press. I could not have known that 35 years later this music would be reaching people worldwide, much less receiving this award. Thank you to those now gone and those still living who helped make the recording possible. Thank you to all of you who voted for this music. Thank you to those providing me with professional music business guidance at this time. And my special thanks to my dear wife Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland, my partner in all things. Her tireless efforts over many years helped make this award possible. Blessings one and all.

Additionally, K-Cut of Main Source offered a statement about the win on behalf of the group:

We would like to take a moment to thank Polaris for recognizing Main Source and the album Breaking Atoms. We are very humbled and honoured to have put out something that has been recognized around the world. 2021 will be 30 years of Breaking Atoms and when we made this album we never expected two Canadian kids growing up in Queens, New York would be part of hip-hop culture and history. It's amazing to see the influence Breaking Atoms has had on hip-hop heads new and old as well as breaking the careers of artists we know today (Nas). This album allowed us to bring the Main Source production and sound to the likes of Queen Latifah, Busta Rhymes, Shaq, A Tribe Called Quest, Ice-T, Maestro, MC Lyte, Pharoahe Monch and Common. Thanks to everyone who supported us to this day and who continue to support us.

Like the annual Polaris Music Prize, the Heritage Prize is awarded to albums of "artistic distinction, without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity." The Heritage Prize is awarded to albums that would have won the Polaris Prize had it been established before 2006.

"Congratulations to these three winning artists," Slaight Communications' Gary Slaight said in a statement. "You've created important, memorable recordings that show the vast range of Canadian musical excellence. I have tremendous appreciation for the work that has gone into making these timeless albums."

Previous years' winners include Rush, Alanis Morissette, Kid Koala, the Tragically Hip, Eric's Trip, Feist, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen and many more. 

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