Karkwa is the winner of the 2010 Polaris Music Prize for their album Les Chemins De Verre. The $20,000 prize, which honors the best Canadian album of the last year, was handed out at a ceremony Monday night in Toronto. The Montreal-based quintet were victorious over other popular Polaris finalists like Broken Social Scene, The Besnard Lakes and Shad.
“That’s weird, that’s very strange,” the band said after being awarded the prize. “We’re holding a cheque for $20,000 and we don’t understand anything.”
Formed in 1998, Les Chemins De Verre (The Glass Paths) is the band’s fourth album.
The ceremony, held in the Concert Hall at Toronto’s historic Masonic Temple, featured performances by all ten of this year’s shortlisted artists – Broken Social Scene, The Besnard Lakes, Tegan and Sara, Shad, Caribou, Owen Pallett, Dan Mangan, Radio Radio and The Sadies.
Now in its fifth year, the Polaris Prize is fast becoming the Canadian version of the prestigious Mercury Prize (awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom/Ireland). The Polaris prize is judged by a panel of music journalists and industry folks on the basis of artistic merit, not album sales.
The win by Karkwa is the first time in the Polaris’ five year history that the award has been given to a non-English band.
“It’s an unbelievable thing to win this prize,” said Louis-Jean Cormier, Karkwa’s lead singer and guitarist. “We have a lot of respect for this contest and we think they do it for the right reason.”
This year’s winner was announced by Damian Abraham, lead singer of Toronto punk group F–ked Up, which won the Polaris Prize in 2009 for their album The Chemistry Of Common Life.
Sep 21, 2010 - By Jeffrey Hyatt Beatcrave