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Polaris: Canada's Musical Badge of Honor

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On Monday evening, the winner of the 2nd annual Polaris Music Prize will be announced. This is not earth shattering news because many don’t even know what it is.

The Polaris Music Prize is Canada’s equivalent to the U.K.’s Mercury Prize. It is an award given to the best Canadian album of the year, regardless of genre, sales, or record label. The winner receives $20,000 cash and a bevy of publicity. The initial jury consists of over 170 Canadian music journalists, bloggers, and broadcasters. The actual winner is chosen from a much smaller jury of 11. Last year’s winner was Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds.

The nominees for this year are:

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• Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
• The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse
• The Dears - Gang of Losers
• Julie Doiron - Woke Myself Up
• Feist - The Reminder
• Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
• Miracle Fortress - Five Roses
• Joel Plaskett Emergency - Ashtray Rock
• Chad VanGaalen - Skelliconnection
• Patrick Watson - Close to Paradise

So, I'm curious. Who should win? Who will win?

Last year, Final Fantasy beat out heavyweights The New Pornographers and Broken Social Scene. So could dark horse favorite The Besnard Lakes steal the glory from the more hotly contended Arcade Fire or newly christened iPod darling Feist?

Check it out at 10:00 PM tomorrow:
• On the radio - CBC Radio 3 on Channel 94 of the Sirius Satellite Radio
• Online - http://www.polarismusicprize.ca

All of the artists can be heard on Polaris Music Prize 2007: The Nominees, a compilation CD available at Amazon.com.

Picture above courtesy of Pamela W. via Flickr