Buffy Sainte-Marie has won this year's $50,000 Polaris Music Prize.

A jury of 11 music critics, bloggers and broadcasters named the album Power in the Blood the best Canadian record of the last year.

The folk icon beat out nine other finalists for the award including rap superstar Drake, former Polaris winner Caribou and Toronto rockers Alvvays.

Sainte-Marie, who already had a crowded trophy case heading into Monday night's award ceremony, told the audience she didn't expect to win the Polaris and appreciated its cash prize.

"I've got an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, a couple of Junos and a Gemini Award — this is the only one I ever heard that gives the artist money. It's real important, it's becoming almost impossible for an artist to tour with a band and with instruments," the 74-year-old musician said.

"It is a fact that it's getting so hard to travel now."

Sainte-Marie called on the industry executives in attendance at the award show to help young musicians get experience with gigs that require travel.

"I'm asking the music community to please put your heads into that and figure out a way so that not only the arts, but also sports, can be supported, so we can afford to go on the road and bring our music to you."

The annual honour is awarded to the Canadian artist or band that creates the best full-length album, regardless of genre, music label or sales figures.

Buffy Sainte-Marie takes Polaris Prize3:09

The full list of this year's 10 nominees:

  • BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah for Sour Soul.
  • Braids for Deep In The Iris.
  • Caribou for Our Love.
  • Alvvays for Alvvays.
  • Jennifer Castle for Pink City.
  • Drake for If You're Reading This It's Too Late.
  • Tobias Jesso Jr. for Goon.
  • The New Pornographers for Brill Bruisers.
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie for Power In The Blood.
  • Viet Cong for Viet Cong.​

The remaining finalists will each receive $3,000.

Children's entertainer Fred Penner hosted this year's ceremony.

Past winners of the prestigious prize have included Tanya Tagaq, Feist, Arcade Fire, Karkwa, F--ked Up, Caribou and Patrick Watson.