Animism by Tanya Tagaq was voted as the winner of the 2014 Polaris Music Prize tonight at The Carlu in Toronto. The winner was decided and announced during the 9th annual gala event. Tanya Tagaq was awarded a cash prize of $30,000. The winner was announced by the gala host, actor Jay Baruchel.
“We’ve been doing it our own way without backing down artistically or conforming, so to be recognized in this way and have so many people latch on makes me feel the world is tolerable. There’s so much hurt in the world and within indigenous cultures with colonialism,” said Tanya Tagaq. “Canada is in a desperate need for repair and I think a lot of people are tired of living this way and just to have people understand where we’re coming from makes me have hope that we can move forward and expose the true history of Canada.”
Animism was produced by Jesse Zubot (Dan Mangan, Fond of Tigers) with additional production by Juan Hernandez. The record features Michael Red (Low Indigo), a live programmer whose wild northern field recordings often serve as Tagaq’s de facto backing band, percussionist Jean Martin and opera singer Anna Pardo Canedo.
Slaight Music awarded $2,000.00 to each of the runners up – Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat, Drake, Mac DeMarco, Jessy Lanza, Owen Pallett, Shad, Timber Timbre and YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. The gala was webcast live on AUX.tv and broadcast live on SiriusXM channels The Verge XM 173 and The Iceberg Sirius 161.
The 11 member Grand Jury that decided the winner was Adam Bowie (Fredericton, Daily Gleaner), Lorraine Carpenter (Montreal, CultMTL), Stephen Cooke (Halifax, Chronicle Herald), Jessica Emond-Ferrat (Montreal, Journal Metro), Luke Fox (Toronto, Exclaim), Stephanie McKay (Saskatoon, Star Phoenix), Liisa Ladouceur (Toronto, freelance), Melody Lau (Toronto, Much), Julia LeConte (Toronto, NOW Magazine), Alan Ranta (Vancouver, Freelance) and Mark Teo (Toronto, AUX).
“This year’s Short List embodied an enormous amount of diverse talent,” said James Keast, who oversaw the Grand Jury. “I’m greatly impressed with the careful consideration that the Grand Jury gave to the Short List nominees. This was not an easy choice for those eleven people to make.”
Past winners have included Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007), and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) (2006).