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
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
In Other News:
- Gord Downie finally hit it big!… on the cover of the Kingston phone book.
- Royal Canoe and Black Mountain had their gear stolen on separate tours.
- Sudbury native and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek had to rap Drake lyrics on TV.
- Fear and loathing at the Justin Bieber show in Manchester.
- From Regina’s CJTR, check out this compilation of Saskatchewan artists covering each other.