The Polaris Prize Long List Nominees

The 40 Canadian albums competing for the prestigious and lucrative $50K honour have been selected and, surprise, surprise, there are some notables who failed to make the cut.

The Polaris Prize Long List Nominees

By FYI Staff

At a press event at The Drake in Toronto yesterday, The Polaris Music Prize announced the 40 albums on the 2018 Long List.

A jury of 203 members from across Canada whittled down 225 albums to 40. Another round of voting will produce the Short List of 10 candidates for the prestigious and lucrative ($50K) Prize that will be announced on July 17. The winner will be declared champ at the Polaris Gala at The Carlu in Toronto on Sept 17.

All runners-up will receive $3K, courtesy of Slaight Music.

The Polaris Music Prize honours the best album by a Canadian artist in the past 12 months, based "solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales."


The 40 Canadian albums competing for the prestigious and lucrative prize contain a few notables who failed to make the cut, including The Weeknd, Broken Social Scene, and Whitehorse. Below, the list of 40 contenders:

Polaris 40

a l l i e - Nightshade            

Alvvays - Antisocialites

Arcade Fire - Everything Now

Bahamas - Earthtones

The Barr Brothers - Queens of the Breakers

Bernice - Puff LP: In the air without a shape

Jean-Michel Blais - Dans ma main

Bonjay - Lush Life

Booji Boys - Weekend Rocker

Philippe Brach - Le silence des troupeaux

Cadence Weapon - Cadence Weapon           

Daniel Caesar - Freudian

Jennifer Castle - Angels of Death

Clairmont The Second - Lil Mont from The Ave

Gord Downie - Introduce Yerself    

Jeremy Dutcher - Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa

Faith Healer - Try ;-)           

FRIGS - Basic Behaviour

Zaki Ibrahim - The Secret Life of Planets

Iskwé - The Fight Within

Kacy & Clayton - The Siren's Song

Lydia Képinski - Premier Juin

Pierre Kwenders - MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time

Pierre Lapointe - La science du coeur


Melissa Laveaux - Radyo Siwèl

Hubert Lenoir - Darlène

Terra Lightfoot - New Mistakes      

Loud - Une année record  

Milk & Bone - Deception Bay

Partner - In Search Of Lost Time

Propagandhi - Victory Lap

Vivek Shraya & Queer Songbook Orchestra - Part-Time Woman

Sloan - 12

Snotty Nose Rez Kids - The Average Savage

U.S. Girls - In A Poem Unlimited

The Weather Station - The Weather Station

Weaves - Wide Open

Charlotte Day Wilson - Stone Woman

Donovan Woods - Both Ways


As is customary with such contests, attention was quickly focused upon those notable artists whose albums were omitted from the Long List. That grouping would include releases by Whitehorse, The Weeknd, former Polaris winners Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Broken Social Scene, Preoccupations, Wolf Parade, Neil Young, Stars, Partynextdoor, Rhye, and Matt Mays.

Helping make the Long List announcements at The Drake were 2015 Polaris winner Buffy Sainte-Marie, Toronto city councillor Josh Colle, and Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, whose album Lush Life made the cut.  Another current contender, local hip-hop artist Clairmont The Second, performed a short set.

Karan Aujla
Photography team: Ishmil Waterman, Lane Dorsey, Sasha Jairam/Billboard Canada. Styling by Veronika Lipatova, Nikita Jaisinghani, Aliecia Brisette. Makeup & Hair by Franceline Graham.

Karan Aujla

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