Relive the most glorious moments from last night’s award ceremony forever, and ever, and ever, and ever...
If a band doesn’t show up at the Polaris Music Prize Gala on principle and still wins the $30,000 cash for best Canadian album of the year, do they still get a giant-sized novelty cheque? That was the existential question hanging in the air last night at the cavernous Carlu, where the notoriously secretive Montreal orchestral-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor was named this year’s Polaris Music Prize recipient for their stunning 2012 comeback/swan-song release, ‘Allejuah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, despite being the only one out of the 10 shortlisted acts to openly reject the whole premise of the event (as outlined in one doozy of an acceptance speech).
But at the Polaris gala, everyone goes home a winner—not only do the nine runners-up receive a consolation prize of $2,000, their appearances are captured in a state of perpetual splendour by our resident GIF-master Kristian Noel Pedersen. (See more of his work here.) Here are the most, ahem, moving moments from last night’s ceremony.
Kicking off the proceedings was Montreal/Halifax-via-Edmonton duo Purity Ring, who took full advantage of Polaris’ move to the grandiose Carlu stage—and the elevated production values that come with it—by showing off their touch-sensitive Blue Man Group-goes-PBR&B lighting rig.
This year, rapper Shad and roots-rocker Kathleen Edwards took over emcee duties from long-time Polaris host (and new papa) Grant Lawrence, and Edwards’ famed propensity for profanity was not lost on Polaris organizers—each table at the gala came equipped with a swear jar (whose considerable proceeds at night’s end were donated to music-education organization MusiCounts). When she wasn’t dropping f-bombs, Edwards used each band performance as an occasion for a wardrobe change, re-emerging at one point as human billboard for Shad’s upcoming album, Flying Colours, which hits stores… well, see for yourself.
Next page: Zaki Ibrahim’s bad-ass band, and a half-measure of Metric