Published Mar 16, 2020After founder Steve Jordan left the position in January, the Polaris Music Prize's board of directors has appointed Claire Dagenais its new executive director.
Dagenais — Polaris's first employee — has worked on every aspect of the organization since being hired in 2010. Effective immediately, her new role will have oversee "all aspects of the not-for-profit organization, including the annual Polaris Gala, its Short and Long Lists, the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, the Polaris Cover Sessions, Polaris Poster and Community Development programs as well as new initiatives."
"I'm incredibly excited to continue the Polaris mission of celebrating magical Canadian music and look forward to being a guardian of the Prize," Dagenais said in a press release. "I've been exposed to so many incredible artists making incredible music while at Polaris and I want to use this opportunity to help others experience those same thrilling moments."
Miro Oballa, chair of the Polaris Music Prize board of directors, added: "We've seen Claire's tireless efforts on behalf of the Prize over the years and know it's in perfect hands. She has worked closely with our juries and nominees as well as Polaris' media partners, event producers, sponsors and supporters. It feels natural to have Claire continue to shepherd Polaris now and into the future."
Polaris Music Prize communications manager Aaron Brophy will also take on an expanded role with the organization, with new duties including aspects of jury management, label and artist relations, and organizational support.
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.
The 40-album long list for the 15th edition of the prize will be announced June 15. The 10 album short list will then be unveiled on July 15, while the winner will be announced at the Polaris Gala on September 21 at the Carlu in Toronto.
Haviah Mighty won the 2019 Polaris Music Prize for her album 13th Floor.