Monday night during a lavish gala held at The Carlu in Toronto, Godspeed You! Black Emperor was awarded the $30,000 2013 Polaris Music Prize for their album ‘ALLELUJAH! DON’T BEND! ASCEND!. “Godspeed will use the prize money to purchase musical instruments for, and support organizations providing music lessons to, people incarcerated within the Quebec prison system.” says Don Wilkie. The 8 member Montreal based band came out of a hiatus in 2010 to tour again then wrote and recorded new material that became ‘ALLELUJAH! DON’T BEND! ASCEND!.
Webcast live on AUX.tv and satellite channels, The Verge XM 173 and The Iceberg Sirius 161m, the evening was hosted by Kathleen Edwards and Shad and featured performances by Polaris Short List members Zaki Ibrahim, Metric, Metz, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, ATribe Called Red, Whitehorse and Young Galaxy. The Short List’s Tegan and Sara and the Prize winners were not in attendance to perform. All runners-up received a $2000 award from Slaight Music. This year’s 11 members of the media who formed the Grand Jury, who decided the winner based solely on artist merit, included Alan Cross (Indie 88.1), Kat Dornian (CJSW), Katherine Duncan (CBC), Stuart Henderson (Pop Matters), Jenny Henkelman (CKUW), Ryan McNutt (freelance journalist), Sean Michaels (Said The Gramophone), Ian Steaman (Different Kitchen), James Tennant (CFMU), Phil Villeneuve(Xtra) and Andrea Warner (freelance journalist).
Godspeed You! Black Emperor now joins the past winners Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007), and Final Fantasy(Owen Pallett) (2006)