Lixar and National Music Centre band together for Polaris Artist Residency

August 20, 2019

Post-classical pianist Jean-Michel Blais is a past NMC Artist in Residence and Polaris Music Prize nominee. Photo credit: Allison Seto. 

Premier AI and data company Lixar, the National Music Centre (NMC), and the Polaris Music Prize, are pleased to announce a new partnership that will give one act on the 2019 Polaris Long List the chance to explore and record inside NMC’s world-class facilities at Studio Bell.

The new residency, called Lixar and the National Music Centre present the Polaris Artist Residency, will be open to all 2019 longlisted nominees. The winner of the residency will be announced at the Polaris Music Prize Gala in Toronto on September 16.

One act will be chosen from the Long List of 40 artists to receive a five-day residency at Studio Bell, with travel expenses covered by Lixar. The resulting work of the residency will be recorded and pressed to vinyl, also courtesy of Lixar, with distribution details to be announced at a later date.

“It’s great as a Canadian to be given an opportunity every year to reimagine what music means to us. The Polaris Prize helps shape that and helps to define our Canadian collective music identity,” said Bill Syrros, CEO Lixar. “We’re honoured to help bring this residency to life, and support music and the artists who are so worthy of this opportunity.”

“We’re big fans of the National Music Centre’s support of musical creativity and their sharing of their mind-blowing collection of instruments,” said Steve Jordan, founder and Executive Director of the Polaris Music Prize. “Lixar is a knowledgeable and steadfast supporter of the musical arts, so it made perfect sense to connect these forces for artistic good in one program. We’re very grateful for what this joint effort will provide to one of the Long List artists, and we’re really excited about the new musical possibilities that will result.”

Lixar and the National Music Centre present the Polaris Artist Residency is another stream of accessibility in NMC’s ever expanding Artist in Residence (AiR) program. The AiR program at Studio Bell is designed to feed and nurture artistic creativity by providing musicians with the use of NMC’s renowned collection of musical instruments and recording equipment, which spans 450 years of technical innovation.

“The National Music Centre, the Polaris Music Prize, and Lixar have a shared interest in collaborating with the community and supporting artistic excellence,” said Andrew Mosker, President and CEO, NMC. “We are excited to further our national mandate in partnering with these two organizations and to build upon the legacy we have begun to create through our artist development programs.”

The National Music Centre has welcomed many exceptional artists to play, experiment, and record with its collection, several of whom have gone on to receive Polaris nominations for works created at Studio Bell. Past AiR alums include 2018 Polaris Music Prize winner Jeremy Dutcher, along with past shortlisted artists A Tribe Called Red, Jean-Michel Blais, Basia Bulat, and Timber Timbre.The Polaris Artist Residency will take place at Studio Bell in January of 2020, culminating with a live performance and party at one of NMC’s venue spaces. Stay tuned for more details on the public component.

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