Hamilton’s Whitehorse came up just short of winning the Polaris Prize Monday night.

Duo Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet were one of ten finalists for the year's best Canadian album, touted as selected with no regard to genre or sales history.

The winners — post-rock stalwarts Godspeed You! Black Emperor — took home $30,000. The band wasn’t at the gala, but Ian Ilavsky from Constellation Records accepted the award on their behalf.

Ilavsky said the band is going to use the prize to fund music education and instruments in the Quebec prison system. The band’s newest album Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! peaked at 41 on the UK album’s chart and has garnered many positive reviews.

Toronto indie-rock band Metric, Montreal jazz saxophonist Colin Stetson and Calgary twins Tegan and Sara were the only artists to make a return appearance on the 10-album Polaris short list.

The award was presented at a gala held in Toronto and hosted by singer Kathleen Edwards and rapper Shad, both two-time Polaris contenders.

The other finalists for 2013 were:

  • Toronto hip hop artist Zaki Ibrahim's Every Opposite.
  • Toronto’s Metric made the shortlist with the album Synthetica.
  • Toronto alt-rockers, METZ, for their self-titled album.
  • Purity Ring from Edmonton and Halifax, for their album, Shrines.
  • Avante-garde saxophone soloist Colin Stetson, based in Montreal, for New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light.
  • Tegan and Sara's seventh studio release, Heartthrob.
  • Ottawa-based electronic DJ crew A Tribe Called Red's Nation II Nation.
  • Montreal-based alt-pop group Young Galaxy's Ultramarine.

The Polaris prize is awarded by a jury of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers from across Canada. Prizes have previously been awarded to Feist, Arcade Fire, Karkwa, Patrick Watson, Caribou and Final Fantasy.