Here are your Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize winners

October 31, 2016

Once more, it’s that time of year again: the end of Polaris season. Although Kaytranada took home the big win for 99.9% just over a month ago, the curtain hadn’t closed on 2016 for Polaris just yet, as they recently (October 24) announced the winners of the Slaight Family Heritage Prize, which honours classic Canadian albums from four eras each year now (2015 was the inaugural year for the award). Last year’s winners included Joni Mitchell (Blue), Cowboy Junkies (The Trinity Session), Sloan (Twice Removed), and Peaches (The Teaches of Peaches).

This year, instead of just having the jury vote, Polaris opened up an extra element where the public could have their say as well. That means there were two winners per era this year. While the public vote is decidedly (and understandably) more populist, the jury vote winners might introduce you to a few artists or records that may have escaped your musical radar, like Mary Margaret O’Hara’s Miss America or Lhasa de Sala’s La Llorona.

You can view all the nominees for the Heritage Prize at the Polaris website. It’s tough competition, but as with any and all things to do with Polaris, the end results are certainly up for spirited debate. Do you think any nominees were more deserving than the winners this year? Are there any records you think were unjustly left off the nominee list? Personally, as a born and bred flatlander, I’m a little disappointed not to see one Weakerthans album in the 1996-2005 category, but us Winnipeggers are used to disappointment. Check out the winners list below and click on each one to listen to a tune from the record.

Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize 2016 winners


Jury vote: Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen

Public vote: Neil Young – After The Gold Rush


Jury vote: Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Kate & Anna McGarrigle

Public vote: Rush – Moving Pictures


Jury vote: Mary Margaret O’Hara – Miss America

Public vote: Blue Rodeo – 5 Days In July


Jury vote: Lhasa de Sela – La Llarona

Public vote: Arcade Fire – Funeral


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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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