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Next Up: The 2016 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize

Along with naming Kaytranada’s 99.9% as the winner of the 2016 Polaris Music Prize last night, the nominees were revealed for what is essentially a grand thought experiment. What if Polaris had been around 20 years ago? Thirty? Fifty? This is the question posed by the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize.

The nominees were announced for this special prize from four time periods: 1960-75, 1976-85, 1986-95 and 1996-2005 (Polaris started in 2006.) What are the best Canadian albums of those eras? Take a look:


The Band: Music From Big Pink (1968)
The Band: The Band (1969)
Robert Charlebois & Louise Forestier: Lindberg (1968)
Leonard Cohen: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (1967)
Gordon Lightfoot: Lightfoot! (1966)
Joni Mitchell: Court And Spark (1974)
The Oscar Peterson Trio: Night Train (1963)
Jackie Shane: Live! (1967(
Neil Young: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
Neil Young: After The Gold Rush (1970)


Bruce Cockburn: Stealing Fire (1984)
D.O.A.: Hardcore 81 (1981)
Fifth Column: To Sir With Hate (1985)
Glenn Gould: Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1981)
Martha and the Muffins: This is the Ice Age (1981)
Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Kate & Anna McGarrigle (1976)
Jackie Mittoo: Showcase Volume 3 (1977)
Rough Trade: Avoid Freud (1980)
Rush: Moving Pictures (1981)
Leroy Sibbles: On Top (1982)


Blue Rodeo: 5 Days In July (1993)
Dream Warriors: And Now The Legacy Begins (1991)
Maestro Fresh Wes: Symphony In Effect (1989)
Daniel Lanois: Acadie (1989)
Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993)
Main Source: Breaking Atoms (1991)
Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill (1995)
Mary Margaret O’Hara: Miss America (1988)
John Oswald: Plunderphonics (1989)
The Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (1992)


Arcade Fire: Funeral (2004)
Bran Van 3000: Glee (1997)
Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People (2002)
Constantines: Shine A Light (2004)
The Dears: No Cities Left (2003)
Destroyer: Streethawk (2001)
Esthero: Breath from Another (1998)
Feist: Let It Die (2003)
k-os: Joyful Rebellion (2004)
Lhasa de Sela: La Llorona (1997)

It works like this: two albums from each era will be picked with one winner being chosen by a special jury and the other by the general public. The winners will be announced on October 24. If you would like to vote on your picks, go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37921 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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