In a Gala hosted at The Carlu in Toronto last night, Tanya Tagaq won the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her record “Animism” (Six Shooter Records) – which is awarded to the best Canadian album of the year based on “artistic merit without regard to genre, sales, or label affiliation”. She also performed at the Gala, in an absolutely mesmerizing performance of “Uja” accompanied by a 40 member choir and while the screen behind her displayed a long list of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. This marked her first Polaris prize win, being one of only 3 first-time nominees on this year’s shortlist.

Congratulations to Tanya and everyone on the Six Shooter team!

While I would urge you to seek out her acceptance speech once it’s available on YouTube (where she encouraged fans to wear and eat seal in support of the indigenous seal hunt, and said “F#$% PETA), her official statement is just as awesome:

“We’ve been doing it our own way without backing down artistically or conforming, so to be recognized in this way and have so many people latch on makes me feel the world is tolerable,” said Tagaq in a statement. “There’s so much hurt in the world and within indigenous cultures with colonialism. Canada is in a desperate need for repair and I think a lot of people are tired of living this way and just to have people understand where we’re coming from makes me have hope that we can move forward and expose the true history of Canada.”

The Gala, which was streamed live on AUX, also featured performances from 6 out of the 10 nominees: including Owen Pallett, Mac DeMarco, Jessy Lanza, Basia Bulat, and Shad.

Past winners of the award include: Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) (2006).

See the full release here: http://polarismusicprize.ca/blog/tanya-tagaq-wins-the-2014-polaris-music-prize/

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