The Polaris Music Prize awards $30,000 to the best Canadian album of the year based on “artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation.” Founded in 2006, the award has previously been given out to Arcade Fire, Fucked Up, Final Fantasy, Caribou, and others.
GY!BE, in their typically evasive and press shy manner, were not present, but had Don Wilkie from Contellation Records accept the award on their behalf, who accepted it saying, “Godspeed will use the prize money to purchase musical instruments for, and support organizations providing music lessons to, people incarcerated within the Quebec prison system.”
“I have know the band for almost 20 years — they’ve been at it for almost 20 years — and I do know that they want to strongly and unequivocally thank everybody involved in the voting and judging process of Polaris: writers, critics, bloggers, promoters, programmers, radio DJs, and music-makers, label people, industry people, who care about independent music and who think that independent music still has a promise to do something in terms of its choices and its structures and its methods that is counter to the mainstream, not only in the kind of music that we all support, but in the ways that we go about bringing it to people, how we bring it to the marketplace and so forth.
“So any of you that know about Godspeed know the choices that they have mostly made and have remained relatively silent about. So Godspeed thanks those people that keep caring about music and writing about it and championing it on those terms and hope that that continues to be part of the conversation and the cultural consciousness we’re all trying to build, by being committed and devoted to independent music, and independent means of production.“
Check out the 2013 short list and watch the full (ahem) four-and-a-half hour ceremony below.
2013 Polaris Prize Short List:
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Zaki Ibrahim – Every Opposite
Metric – Synthetica
METZ – METZ
Purity Ring – Shrines
Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
Tegan And Sara – Heartthrob
A Tribe Called Red – Nation II Nation
Whitehorse – The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss
Young Galaxy – Ultramarine