Karkwa wins Polaris Music Prize
Montreal art-rock quintet prevails
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM ET
Karkwa has captured the 2010 Polaris Music Prize for the album Les chemins de verre.
The $20,000 prize, which honours the best Canadian album last year, was handed out at a ceremony Monday night in Toronto.
An art-rock quintet from Montreal that sings in French, Karkwa triumphed over highly touted Polaris finalists like Broken Social Scene, rapper Shad, Owen Pallett and Caribou.
This year's winner was announced by Damian Abraham, lead singer of Toronto punk group F--ked Up, which won the Polaris Prize in 2009. The laidback ceremony featured performances by all 10 of the nominated acts.
Louis-Jean Cormier, Karkwa’s lead singer and guitarist, seemed shocked about receiving the award. In a brief acceptance speech, he expressed respect for the mandate of the Polaris Prize, suggesting it didn’t revel in pageantry the way that other music awards do.Rapper Shad performs from his album TSOL during the Polaris Prize gala in Toronto on Monday. (Timothy Neesam/CBC)
“It's an unbelievable thing to win this prize. We have a lot of respect for this contest and we think they do it for the right reason,” he said.
“It's not ‘I would like to thank my mother, I would like to thank my dog.’ No, man — it is just the music!"
The group, whose moniker is a phonetic rendering of the French word carquois (a quiver of arrows), was formed in 1998 and released its debut album, Le pensionnat des établis, in 2003. Les chemins de verre (The Glass Paths) is Karkwa’s fourth album.
Now in its fifth year, the Polaris prize is judged by a panel of music journalists and industry representatives on the basis of artistic merit rather than sales.
Karkwa is the first French-language band to win the award.
In an interview Tuesday with CBC News, the band recalled the experience of recording Les chemins de verre in France's iconic Studio La Frette.
"We created it live in the studio, and maybe it sounds more… vivant — alive. So maybe that's the difference, and maybe that's a good thing," Cormier said.
The studio is noted for producing great recordings for Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Fontaine as well as Canadians such as previous Polaris winner Patrick Watson and Feist.
Drummer Stéphane Bergeron said they had not done pre-production and were not even sure they had a full album as they recorded.
"We were on a break during a studio and we thought, 'Let's just get in the studio and see what could happen.' We thought maybe we could see what the next album might sound like. Just to give an idea of what it is."
The band has a following in Quebec, but has not toured much in the rest of Canada. That might change with this win, Cormier said.
"We are here holding a cheque in Toronto and we are beginning to think about why don't we play in our country [and] the States," Cormier said.
"Maybe we are at the beginning of something for us."With files from The Canadian Press
- Jedward on the MMVA red carpet by Laura Thompson Jun. 17, 2013 12:48 PM Cheerful pop duo Jedward had much to say to CBC News on the red carpet Sunday night at the Much Music Video Awards in Toronto. A lot of their excitement came from seeing Avril Lavigne, complete with spiky hairband. Check out the Irish twins in this video clip.
Top News Headlines
- Obesity now recognized as a disease
- The American Medical Association has voted to recognize obesity as a disease, while doctors in Canada say they also treat it as such. more »
- B.C. First Nation sets fires to save bison
- A First Nation band is reviving the age-old practice of controlled burning in order to improve the health of forests and restore the population of the wood bison in a corner of northeastern B.C. more »
- 1 in 8 bird species threatened with extinction
- One in eight bird species worldwide faces the threat of extinction, according to a report released by Birdlife International. more »
- Canada buys rare War of 1812 collection for $573K
- The government of Canada was the winning bidder for a large collection of letters, maps and other papers that once belonged to Sir John Sherbrooke, the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia who conquered Maine for the British during the War of 1812. The collection sold for $573,000 at auction in London. more »
Latest Arts & Entertainment News Headlines
- Monsters University's Billy Crystal, Dave Foley
- Pixar returns to the story of animated duo Mike and Sulley in this summer's Monsters University, with Billy Crystal and Dave Foley among the notable cast of actors lending their voices to the kids' film. more »
- Guillermo del Toro calls Pacific Rim a family movie
- Director Guillermo del Toro' monsters vs. machines movie Pacific Rim is a summer spectacle that sets out to be different from other movies of its kind. more »
- Laval's corrupt image scares off choral festival sponsors
- The founder and driving force behind Laval, Que.'s annual international choral festival says allegations of corruption at Laval city hall have driven away some of the festival's sponsors. more »
- Dolce and Gabbana convicted of tax evasion
- A Milan court has convicted fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of tax evasion, finding the pair guilty of failing to declare €1 billion ($1.37 billion Cdn) in income to authorities. more »
- Guillermo Del Toro's Monsters Jun. 19, 2013 1:47 PM The award winning director stops by Studio Q to chat about his upcoming blockbuster Pacific Rim.
- This summer's must-read mysteries Jun. 19, 2013 6:02 PM If you like a good thriller or whodunit to read while basking in the sun, then this roundup of books is for you!
- Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy
- Bob Rae quits as MP in 'very emotional' decision
- Wearing a mask at a riot is now a crime
- 2 men jailed in Dominican wedding fight back in Canada
- B.C. teacher duct-taped students' mouths
- Obesity now recognized as a disease
- Dozens of children seized from Manitoba Mennonite community
- Half of First Nations children live in poverty
- Huge ancient city at Angkor Wat revealed by lasers