Here's the 2021 Polaris Music Prize short list

It’s a Shortlist Summer at CBC Music, with a radio series and editorial features diving into the 10 albums vying for the $50,000 grand prize.

Below, we outline our plans to celebrate the 10 albums vying for the $50K grand prize

The Polaris Music Prize has revealed its 2021 short list.

The 40 previously longlisted albums have been narrowed down to the following 10:

  • Theory of Ice, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
  • Parallel World, Cadence Weapon
  • Head Above the Waters, Dijah SB
  • Three Little Words, Dominique Fils-Aimé
  • When Smoke Rises, Mustafa
  • The Ends, the OBGMs
  • Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, Klô Pelgag
  • Elements Vol. 1, Tobi
  • Ignorance, the Weather Station
  • Bleached Wavves, Zoon

The winning album will be chosen by an 11-member grand jury and announced on Sept. 27.

Shortlist Summer

In the weeks leading up to that announcement, CBC Music will present Shortlist Summer, a series of special programming and features that celebrates this year's shortlisted albums.

Shortlist Summer will comprise Polaris Spotlight, a weekly editorial series beginning Tuesday, July 20, and The Ten, a weekly radio show airing Sunday evenings starting July 25. Each instalment will focus on one of the 10 shortlisted albums in the lead-up to the 2021 Polaris Music Prize winner announcement.

Go to and follow CBC Music on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook for more Polaris Music Prize coverage.

Every year since 2006, the Polaris Music Prize has been awarded to a Canadian album of distinction, without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity. The winning album receives a cash prize of $50,000; the nine runners-up from the short list each receive $3,000.

Due to the continued uncertainty around the return to public gatherings, the Polaris Music Prize will not host a gala this year. Plans for the announcement of this year's winner will be made public soon.

In the meantime, revisit the announcement of the 2020 Polaris Music Prize winner:

Backxwash wins the 2020 Polaris Music Prize

2 years ago
Duration 6:18
2019 Polaris winner Haviah Mighty announces Backxwash's God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It as the winner of the 2020 Polaris Music Prize. CBC Mornings host Saroja Coelho chats with Backxwash fresh off her win.