Caribou Wins the 2008 Polaris Music Prize

Caribou Wins the 2008 Polaris Music Prize
Dundas, Ontario's Caribou deservedly took home the 2008 Polaris Music Prize at the third annual gala event that took place last night (September 29) at Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theatre. The $20,000 award was given to Dan Snaith, the sole member and mastermind of the "group," for his 2007 psychedelic masterpiece, Andorra.

"Wow, if I seem completely overwhelmed it's because I am," Snaith said when he collected the prize. "I feel so lucky and so proud to be included in such an incredible group of albums both in the shortlist and the long list. Thank you so much. The Polaris is such an amazing forum for music that might not otherwise get recognized to such an extent."

Caribou was announced in an unorthodox fashion, as last year's winner Patrick Watson was currently holed up in a studio working on his new album. Watson recorded ten messages prior to the ceremony, which was then carefully selected and aired when the grand jury had made its decision. He also took time out to tease a good-spirited Besnard Lakes, by calling out their name as a joke, to which the camera panned to them, standing in the corner with looks of disgust... I guess you had to be there.

Hosted by CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence, the gala featured a number of performances by the short list of nominations including Basia Bulat, Black Mountain, Kathleen Edwards, Two Hours Traffic, Plants and Animals, Shad and Holy Fuck (who killed it!). Caribou, Stars and the Weakerthans were all unable to perform in person, but pre-recorded performances that were aired on the jumbo screens.

Previous winners of the Polaris Music Prize include Final Fantasy for He Poos Clouds in 2006, and the aforementioned Patrick Watson for Close To Paradise in 2007.

Caribou's Andorra was selected by the 11-member gala grand jury, in turn chosen from 178 members of the larger jury comprised of music journalists, bloggers and broadcasters. Through a process of winnowing down, they voted on, then determined the best Canadian album released between June 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008. The grand jury was sequestered in the Phoenix parlour while the event was taking place.

Here are the ten albums that were shortlisted for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize:

Basia Bulat Oh, My Darling
Black Mountain In The Future
Caribou Andorra
Kathleen Edwards Asking For Flowers
Holy Fuck LP
Plants and Animals Parc Avenue
Shad The Old Prince
Stars In Our Bedroom After The War
Two Hours Traffic Little Jabs
The Weakerthans Reunion Tour