The Polaris Music Prize is a relatively big deal for Canadian musicians. Their version of the United Kingdom and Ireland’s Mercury Prize, it is given to what the country considers to be “the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales or record label.”
It’s usually considered to be a watershed moment in an artist’s career, and possibly takes said career to the next level. In 2016, Kaytranada took home the prize for his debut album 99.9%, and his own profile has risen significantly since.
The “long list” of potential nominees for the 2017 Polaris has been revealed, and naturally two of the country’s biggest imports — Drake and The Weeknd — have made the list, for More Life and Starboy respectively.
Drake has been nominated multiple times: for If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (in 2015), Nothing Was the Same (in 2014), and Take Care (in 2012). Meanwhile, The Weeknd was nominated for the 2011 prize with House of Balloons.
They are among the 40 nominees on the long list, which include BADBADNOTGOOD (they were previously nominated in 2015 for their collaborative project with Ghostface Killah, Sour Soul), Tanya Tagaq (who won the prize in 2014) and pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen.
The forty names will be whittled down to ten, and the winner will be announcedSeptember 18th. The winner will receive a cash prize of $50,000, as well as a trophy.