By Kerry Doole
Earlier this week in Toronto, the Long List of 40 Canadian albums competing for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize was announced. It features some previous Prize shortlisters alongside many comparative newcomers. A large jury has now voted for the Short List of 10 albums, and that will be revealed on July 13. A winning album will be named during the Polaris Gala, on Sept. 19 at Massey Hall in Toronto. The chosen Polaris Music Prize winner will be awarded a $50K grand prize. See the full Long List here.
– On June 14, Moose Knuckles and Prism Prize, administered by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, announced the three recipients of the Moose Knuckles Heatmakers x Prism Prize Music Video Production Grant: Sean Leon, iaamSaam, and Skiifall. Introduced earlier this year, this production support initiative aids in the creation of high-quality music video content from the Canadian rap and hip-hop community and offers recording artists the opportunity to receive up to $35K in funding. More info here.
– Manifesto festival in Toronto has announced a full week of events (Aug. 7-13 )to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop. The genre's historic milestone will be anchored by a live concert Manifesto Presents: The Block Party. on Aug. 11 at RBC Echo Beach, headlined by Aminé and Saukrates. Hosted by The Relentless Diaries podcast crew (Zoie, Tresor, Chris), the Manifesto concert stage will also feature sets by Kuruza, Eben, No Tourists, SadBoi, Liza, and Eleanor. CBC Music's Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe will host the Block Stage, showcasing Keysha Freshh, Phoenix Pagliacci, Temia, Vince the Messenger, and Clairmont the Second. Tickets go on sale today (June 15). More info here.
– On June 9, Canadian veterans Dee Daniels and Denzal Sinclaire released their first album together, Let It Shine! Let It Shine!, a project that pays homage to the rich tradition of black spirituals. On June 15, they'll be in Toronto to celebrate the launch with a Live to Air concert at JazzFM, at 7 pm.
– Veteran Toronto roots troubadour John Borra is teaming up with his Calgarian pal Emily Triggs for a bunch of shows in ON & QC, beginning at Red Brick Cafe in Guelph on June 22, and concluding on July 8 at Hotel Wolfe Island, near Kingston. Check the itinerary here.
–Popular '90s Canadian rockers Rusty still plays occasional high-octane shows, including dates this week in Toronto and Hamilton, heading an ace bill that includes Lightmares and Pointless, the new project by Treble Charger's Bill Priddle. The gigs are at Toronto's Garrison on June 16 and Hamilton's Corktown (upstairs) on June 17. Recommended. Tix here.
– Highly-regarded Toronto world music group Al Qahwa Ensemble released their fourth album Weyn Allah(Where is God?) on June 1 and will celebrate the release with a hometown concert at Tranzac Club on June 18 (7-10 pm). The ensemble includes scene mainstays Maryem and Ernie Tollar, and the performance will feature special guests and a set by Catchfiyah. More info here. Dates in Western Canada, July 10-16, are being confirmed.