Oct 20, 2020

TORONTO, ON – Monday, October 19, 2020


Backxwash has won the 2020 Polaris Music Prize for the album God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It.


“Be as honest as you want to be and create the art that you want to,” says Backxwash while reflecting on her win.


This is Backxwash’s first Polaris Music Prize win.


The Prize, which was presented by CBC Music, goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation. It was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of 201 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country. This was the 15th edition of the Polaris Music Prize.


Backxwash’s victory came with a $50,000 monetary reward. The nine other Short List nominees each received $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.


The 2020 Polaris Short List was:


Backxwash - God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It

Caribou - Suddenly

Junia-T - Studio Monk

Kaytranada - Bubba

nêhiyawak - nipiy

Pantayo - Pantayo

Lido Pimienta - Miss Colombia

 U.S. Girls - Heavy Light

Witch Prophet - DNA Activation


Backxwash’s name was revealed by Polaris 2019 winner, Haviah Mighty, live from the stage of Toronto venue, The Carlu, during the 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration broadcast. Due to COVID-19, for the safety and well-being of the Polaris community, Polaris chose to not host a winner Gala event this year. Instead, Polaris invited Canadian filmmakers to apply to create commissioned films inspired by each of the Short List-nominated albums to create a special cinematic tribute. Hundreds of filmmakers applied, with the selected filmmaking teams being commissioned based on input from Polaris staff, CBC Music and Short List nominee teams.


These 10 short films were streamed during the 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration, hosted by CBC Music’s Saroja Coelho. All 10 of these specially commissioned short films are now available for viewing on the free CBC Gem streaming service, CBC Music’s FacebookTwitter and YouTube pages and around the globe at


The Grand Jury who decided the winner included Chad Brunet (CJSR), Ricky Castanedo Laredo (CJSF), Bruno Coulombe (Le Canal Auditif), Chaka V. Grier (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste Pigiste), Kimberley Dooshima Jev (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste Pigiste), Liisa Ladouceur (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste Pigiste), Sarah Macdonald (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste Pigiste), Sofie Mikhaylova (DJ Sonja), Chad Pelley (Music Researcher / Chercheur En Musique), Anuska Sarkar (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste Pigiste) and Ian Steaman (Different Kitchen).


"It's an incredible and humbling honour to oversee this year's Polaris Grand Jury," said Polaris Jury Foreperson Melissa Vincent. "Their devotion to discussing and championing the work of an outstanding group of artists is a testament to the vitality of music coming out of Canada. We could not be more thrilled to congratulate the winner of the 2020 Polaris Music Prize!"


The past winners are Haviah Mighty (2019), Jeremy Dutcher (2018), Lido Pimienta (2017), Kaytranada (2016), Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy / Owen Pallett (2006).


We acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters.


About the Polaris Music Prize

The Polaris Music Prize is a not-for-profit organization that annually honours and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction. A select panel of music critics judge and award the Prize without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.


About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.


About CBC Music

CBC Music connects Canadians with the very best in music. Available through the CBC Listen app, online, on radio and in television specials throughout the year, CBC Music privileges Canadian artists and songs. Offering 200 free music streams, CBC Music draws from all genres and classifications with knowledgeable hosts and programmers. Home to the JUNO Awards and your favourite music from across the country, discover the next great act with CBC Music. For more, visit


Media Contacts:


Polaris Music Prize media:

Amanda McCauley - Indoor Recess

(905) 926-6440


Polaris Music Prize media (Quebec):

Magali Ould
(514) 994-6295



Teaghan Hawke
(416) 205-6863


Media assets (Polaris logos, album covers, bios, photos, streams):
Pw: m3d1a