2020 Prism Prize Special Award Winners Announced

A group of groundbreaking Canadians who have had a profound impact on the music video industry have already been named Award winners this week. The Grand Prize and Audience Award will be handed out at the virtual ceremony tonight.

2020 Prism Prize Special Award Winners Announced

By FYI Staff

The Prism Prize honours the best Canadian music videos and the creators behind them. Tonight (Thursday, July 23), the Prize celebrates the Top 20 Canadian music videos of the year and  reveals the 2020 Grand Prize and Audience Award winners at the Prism Prize virtual awards presentation, taking place at 8:00 pm ET on and @PrismPrize on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. 

Following the cancellation of the 2020 Prism Prize Grand Prize screening and awards presentation due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Prism Prize decided to keep all previously announced Top 20 artists in the running for the Grand Prize. A jury of over 120 Canadian creative arts professionals voted to determine the winner who will be awarded $20,000, increased from $15,000 thanks to a contribution from Stingray. Each of the runners-up listed in the Top 20 will receive a $500 cash prize courtesy of Slaight Music and RBCxMusic. The Audience Award is a fan-voted prize awarded to a video from the Top 20.


Earlier this week, the Prism Prize announced the winners of three 2020 Special Awards, a group of groundbreaking Canadians who have had a profound impact on the music video industry.

Creative filmmaking production house Tranquilo was the recipient of the Lipsett Award (sponsored by iHeartRadio Canada), established to celebrate a unique approach to music video art.

Pop videographer Bardia Zeinali was granted the Special Achievement Award (presented by Slaight Music), established to recognize an exceptional contribution to music video art on the world stage.

Famed creative director and choreographer LaurieAnn Gibson was awarded the inaugural Willie Dunn Award, honouring a Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music video community.  Gibson has choreographed dance numbers for musical artists such as Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé. Her music video directing credits include the Lady Gaga hits Judas and You and I.  


The Willie Dunn Award is named after the groundbreaking Canadian singer-songwriter, film director and politician William “Willie” Dunn, whose 10-minute film for The Ballad of Crowfoot (below) is often cited as “the first Canadian music video.” 

As the recipient of this award, LaurieAnn Gibson was asked to select an emerging filmmaker to be the beneficiary of $5,000 courtesy of the Canadian Academy; she selected Noor Khan, an emerging Scarborough-based director and producer.

One more special award, the HiFidelity Award (supported by FACTOR), will be announced later today. It was established to recognize recording artists who utilize music video in innovative ways.

All Prism Prize Award recipients, including the Grand Prize, Audience Award, and all Special Award winners, receive equipment rental grants in the amount of $2,500, courtesy of partners at William F. White International Inc. 

THE 2020 PRISM PRIZE TOP 20 (In alphabetical order):

Alaskan Tapes - And, We Disappear (Director: Meredith Hama-Brown)

BamBii ft. Pamputtae - NiteVision (Directors: BamBii & Kostadin Kolev)

Basia Bulat - Your Girl (Director: Brian Dale Sokolowski)

Cartel Madras - Goonda Gold (Directors: Bhaveek Makan & Jashan Makan)

Clairmont The Second - Brick (Director: Clairmont The Second)


Daniel Caesar ft. Koffee - CYANIDE REMIX (Directors: Keavan Yazdani & Sean Brown)

Debby Friday - Fatal (Directors: Debby Friday & Ryan Ermacora)

DOOMSQUAD - General Hum (Director: Zak Tatham)

iskwē - Breaking Down (Director: Jessica Lea Fleming)

Jeremy Dutcher - Mehcinut (Directors: Chandler Levack & Jeremy Dutcher)

Jessie Reyez - Far Away (Director: Peter Huang)

Jordan Klassen - Virtuous Circle (Director: Farhad Ghaderi)

Mac DeMarco - Here Comes The Cowboy (Director: Cole Kush)

Orville Peck - Dead of Night (Director: Michael Maxxis)

PUP - Free at Last (Directors: PUP, Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, Amanda Fotes)


PUP - Kids (Director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)

Said The Whale - Record Shop (Director: Johnny Jansen)

Sam Tudor - Joseph in the Bathroom (Director: Lucas Hrubizna)

Shad - The Stone Throwers (Gone in a Blink) (Director: Matthew Progress)

Shay Lia - Good Together (Director: CARAZ)

Celine Dion
Courtesy Photo

Celine Dion


Celine Dion Battled Extreme Muscle Spasms From Stiff-Person Syndrome With Dangerously High Doses of Valium: ‘It Could Have Been Fatal’

The singer opened up about her decade-long struggle with the rare neurological disorder in Tuesday night's (June 11) primetime NBC special.

Celine Dion was so desperate to alleviate the pain from severe muscle spasms during her secret, nearly two-decade-long battle with the rare neurological and autoimmune disease Stiff-Person Syndrome that she took near-lethal doses of Valium in search of relief. In her one-hour primetime NBC special on Tuesday night (June 11), Dion said she took up to 90 milligrams of the medication used to treat anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms, an amount that is more than twice the recommended daily dose.

“I did not know, honestly, that it could kill me. I would take, for example before a performance, 20 milligrams of Valium, and then just walking from my dressing room to backstage — it was gone,” Dion said of the instant pain relief the medication offered at levels, however that “could have been fatal” if she’d continued at that pace. “At one point, the thing is, that my body got used to it at 20 and 30 and 40 [milligrams] until it went up. And I needed that. It was relaxing my whole body. For two weeks, for a month, the show would go on… but then you get used to [and] it doesn’t work anymore.”

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