The Polaris Music Prize is a music award annually given to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label. The award was established in 2006 with a $20,000 cash prize; the prize was increased to $30,000 for the 2011 award.
The Polaris Music Prize is modeled after United Kingdom/Ireland's Mercury Prize and in turn, inspired the Atlantis Music Prize for Newfoundland and Labrador.
The award is sponsored by Scion, SiriusXM, Government of Canada, FACTOR, Rdio, Slaight Communications, Radio Starmaker Fund, SOCAN, Galaxie and The Drake Hotel.
The Polaris Music Prize gala is broadcast live via SiriusXM, online via CBC Radio 3, video streamed live on MuchMusic.com and rebroadcast via cable on MuchMusic.
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“Then, though I prize my friends, I cannot afford to talk with them and study their visions, lest I lose my own. It would indeed give me a certain household joy to quit this lofty seeking, this spiritual astronomy, or search of stars, and come down to warm sympathies with you; but then I know well I shall mourn always the vanishing of my mighty gods.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
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—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Let music sound while he doth make his choice;
Then if he lose he makes a swan-like end,
Fading in music.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)