‘Tis the season to hand out some Canadian music hardware

September 21, 2015

With the Canadian Country Music Awards only a week behind us, BreakOut West handed out its 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMAs) on Saturday and Sunday. Tonight, the highly coveted Polaris Music Prize will be delivered to what the Polaris Grand Jury deems the best Canadian album based purely on artistic merit.

First, the WCMAs. The incomparable Tanya Tagaq led the pack as she took home awards for World Music Recording, Aboriginal Recording, and Spiritual Recording. Notably, it was Tagaq, of course, who won last year’s Polaris Prize. She also managed to put a JUNO under her belt earlier this year. No Means No took home the WCMA Hall of Fame Award, and The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer reeled in Independent Album of the Year and Blues Recording of the Year for A Real Fine Mess. Check out the full list of winners here.

On to the Polaris. Like every year, this shortlist nominees for this year’s award have made it extremely difficult to predict a winner. The conversation has been (rightfully) derailed a bit because of increased media attention to the controversy surrounding the name of Calgary’s Viet Cong. On top of that, the band just recently announced they would be changing their moniker, but to what remains to be seen. Rumours are circulating that may be revealed at the awards gala. For the shortlist, and links to stream the awards show, go here.

An addition to the Polaris this year is the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, which will recognize the groundbreaking impact of Canadian records from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s (2000-2005). To vote for your favourites on the short lists, head over here.


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–Matt Williams

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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