At a gala ceremony at the home of MTV Canada, The Concert Hall at Toronto’s Masonic Temple, ‘The Suburbs’, by Montreal, Quebec’s Arcade Fire was crowned winner of the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. Arcade Fire took home the $30,000.00 prize, provided by presenting sponsor SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The other nine short list nominees were awarded $2000.00 by Slaight Music. The gala ceremony included performances by short list nominees Austra, Braids, Galaxie, Hey Rosetta!, Ron Sexsmith and Timber Timbre, with members of Arcade Fire (Win Butler, Jeremy Gara, Richard Reed Parry) on hand as well.
In its sixth year, Arcade Fire joins the group of previous winners which includes Montreal’s Karkwa (2010) for Les Chemins De Verre, Toronto’s Fucked Up (2009) for The Chemistry Of Common Life, Dundas’ Caribou (2008), for Andorra, Montreal’s Patrick Watson (2007) for Close To Paradise and Toronto’s Final Fantasy (2006) for He Poos Clouds.
“We feel very emotional to receive an award based solely on artistic merit. We really believe in records and we are thankful to the Polaris for recognising our work and the work of so many great Canadian artists!” – Arcade Fire
The suburbs have always spawned poets who flee to the world’s great cities. Montreal’s Arcade Fire, however, return to the landscapes of their youth and return with the songs of ‘The Suburbs’: songs that draw on themes of loss and renewal, of drawing inspiration from scarcity, of generations past and future, of responsibility and maturity, of hoping that something pure can last. ‘The Suburbs’, like its namesake, revels in open space, reflections on long drives, and contemplating possibilities. Lyrics decrying wasted time, arms folded tight, and cities with no children are set to sparse pop, icy new wave epics, anthemic punk and lush balladry-all delivered with a breadth and beauty that expands the palette of a band that has never settled for the easy route out of town.
The gala was hosted by CBC Radio 3’s Grant Lawrence with MuchMusic’s Damian Abraham, who is also the lead singer for 2009 Polaris winners Fucked Up.
The Grand Jury was comprised of 11 journalists, selected from the 213 member Polaris jury. It included: Karen Bliss (Billboard), Elaine Corden (Yukon, North of Ordinary), Emilie Côté (La Presse), Tom Coxworth (CKUA), David Dacks (CIUT), Mike Devlin (Times Colonist), Yuani Fragata (Bande à part), Anupa Mistry (freelance journalist), Graham Rockingham (The Hamilton Spectator), Gregg Stewart (The Much MTV Group) and Anna Zee (Q104).
Liisa Ladouceur, who oversees the Grand Jury, had this to say about the deliberation: “There’s no such thing as a guaranteed winner with Polaris. As always, this year, there was a long and thoughtful discussion about the merits of all the Short Listed records. In the end, ‘The Suburbs’ was recognised by many jurors as the most accomplished and complete artistic statement.”
For more information visit the official Arcade Fire website.