Jan Brady the Polaris Music Prize always seems to be a surprise when it comes to the pronouncement of a winner. Last night’s finale was no different as Montreal proggy, indie rockers Karkwa took home the Polaris Music Prize for its fourth album, Les Chemins de Verre (Audiogram). (The first francophone band to do so.)
Yesterday’s much ballyhooed ceremony at CTV's Concert Hall at Toronto’s Masonic Temple featured performances by all ten of this year’s shortlisted artists – Broken Social Scene, The Besnard Lakes, Tegan and Sara, Shad, Caribou, Owen Pallett, Dan Mangan, Radio Radio and The Sadies.
The band – singer Louis-Jean Cormier, keyboardist Francois Lafontaine, drummer Julier Sagot, drummer Stéphane Bergeron and bassist Martin Lamontaigne – was formed in 1998 and have released three albums prior to Les Chemins De Verre, including Les Tremblements s’immobilisent, which won a trio of Felix Awards in 2006.
Previous Polaris winners are Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy (2006). Voting by a 200-member jury resulted in a 10-title shortlist of Canadian albums released between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. An 11 member gala grand jury then selected a winner while the event took place. The band was presented their $20,000 cheque by the previous year’s winner (Fucked Up’s) Damian Abraham.
Sirius Satellite Radio and Radio 3 broadcast the ceremony live across North America, and around the world on the web at radio3.cbc.ca. The gala was also webcast live on Muchmusic.com and will be broadcast Sept. 25th at 9pm ET on MuchMusic with repeat airings no doubt to follow ad infinitum.