Godspeed You! Black Emperor is the winner of the 2013 Polaris Music Prize for the album, 'ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND!. The winner was decided and announced during the 8th annual gala event at The Carlu in Toronto. Godspeed You! Black Emperor was awarded a $30,000.00 cash prize.
"Godspeed will use the prize money to purchase musical instruments for, and support organizations providing music lessons to, people incarcerated within the Quebec prison system." Don Wilkie, Constellation
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is an 8-member orchestral rock ensemble based in Montreal, QC, who became well-known during the late 90's and early 2000's for their mesmerizing wall-of-sound performances and fierce DIY ethics. After releasing four records, GY!BE announced an indefinite hiatus in 2003, which lasted until December 2010, when the band returned to tour internationally and start work on a new recording.The result, 'ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND! saw release in October 2012 to widespread critical acclaim.
Runners up Zaki Ibrahim, Metric, Metz, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, Tegan And Sara, A Tribe Called Red, Whitehorse and Young Galaxy were each awarded $2,000 by Slaight Music. All Short List nominees performed at the gala except for Tegan & Sara and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The gala was webcast live on Aux.tv and SiriusXM channels The Verge XM 173 and The Iceberg Sirius 161.
The 11 member Grand Jury that decided the winner was Alan Cross (Indie 88.1), Kat Dornian (CJSW), Katherine Duncan (CBC), Stuart Henderson (Pop Matters), Jenny Henkelman (CKUW), Ryan McNutt (freelance journalist), Sean Michaels (Said The Gramophone), Ian Steaman (Different Kitchen), James Tennant (CFMU), Phil Villeneuve (Xtra) and Andrea Warner (freelance journalist).
"The serious contemplation given to each and every album on the short list by the Grand Jury is truly impressive," commented James Keast, who oversaw the Grand Jury. "The level of intellectual, emotional and technical consideration given to each album was, as always, impressive, and I'm very proud to be included in this collection of music-obsessed peers."
The evening was hosted by Kathleen Edwards and Shad. The presenters were selected by the nominated artists and included Sarah McLachlan, Sebastien Grainger, authors Joseph Boyden and Jessica Hopper, TV personalities George Stroumboulopoulos and Melissa Hetu, past nominees Bry Webb and Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids, screenwriter and producer Martin Gero, and rapper and actress Michie Mee.
The Polaris Music Prize awards $30,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year. Judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration of genre or record sales, the Prize's past winners have included Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007), and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) (2006).