Buffy Sainte-Marie Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

BY Alex HudsonPublished Sep 22, 2015

Tonight (September 21) was one of the biggest nights of the Canadian music calendar, as the Polaris Music Prize crowned its 2015 victor. This was the 10th annual edition of the award, and it went to Buffy Sainte-Marie for the album Power in the Blood.

The announcement was made at the end of a Fred Penner-hosted ceremony at the Carlu in Toronto, where Buffy Sainte-Marie beat out fellow nominees Alvvays, BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah, Braids, Caribou, Jennifer Castle, Drake, the New Pornographers, Tobias Jesso Jr. and Viet Cong. 

Along with some serious bragging rights, the winner took home the grand prize of $50,000 while each of the runners-up won $3,000. The night saw live performances from Alvvays, Braids, Jennifer Castle, (the band formerly known as) Viet Cong and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Shortlisted artist Tobias Jesso Jr. was originally set to play live but in the end did not. 

As usual, the Polaris winner was picked solely based on artistic merit with no regard for sales or affiliation. The nominated albums were all released between June 2014 and May 2015; the long and short lists were selected by a national jury of journalists, broadcasters and bloggers, and the ultimate winner was decided by an 11-person grand jury.

The 2015 short list was as follows:

Alvvays – Alvvays
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
Braids – Deep in the Iris
Caribou – Our Love
Jennifer Castle – Pink City
Drake – If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power in the Blood
Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Past winners of the Polaris Music Prize include Final Fantasy (2006), Patrick Watson (2007), Caribou (2008), Fucked Up (2009), Karkwa (2010), Arcade Fire (2011), Feist (2012), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013) and Tanya Tagaq (2014).

As previously reported, Polaris spinoff award the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize will announce its winners on October 9. You can learn more about that award and how you can vote for its ultimate winners over here.

For more on Buffy Sainte-Marie, read the songwriter's recent contribution to the Exclaim! Questionnaire here and check out our review of the winning Power in the Blood over here

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