Feist first: 2012 Polaris Prize awarded

Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω

Feist, with her newest effort Metals, reaped the rewards of her hard work at the Polaris Music Prize Gala on Sept. 24.

“This is my worst fear – oh my god,” Feist said as she got on stage.

“You’d think from a lifetime of terrible speeches I would remember at one point to write something down, but I never do because it seems presumptuous to prepare,” she continued, attesting to the humble nature of one of Canada’s music greats.

As tradition, the attending nominees performed for the live audience and those watching via webcast.  Feist was the last of Monday night’s seven attending nominees to perform before the designating of the accolades, closing the night out with the opening track from Metals, “The Bad in Each Other.” The infectious stomping percussion of Feist’s two-song set left fresh the reasoning for her winning of this year’s prize.

Last year’s winner, Arcade Fire, was called to the stage by hosts Grant Lawrence of CBC and Lauren Toyota of Much Music to present the prize. Upon being revealed as this year’s winner, Feist promptly hid under the table, stirring memories of moments earlier when she shyly declined to make a speech after her performance.

Before leaving the stage, Feist took time to acknowledge the speech given by fellow shortlist nominee Kathleen Edwards.

“Kathleen said everything I wish I could if I was smarter and prettier,” Feist said.

Edwards had expressed her gratitude for the Polaris Music Prize’s ability to start conversations about music. She concluded by thanking the executive director of the prize, Steve Jordan, for “creating a vehicle for those of us who don’t want to march in the sh*t parade.”

Leading into tonight’s awarding of the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, Edwards’s Voyageur was the public favourite with 22.65 per cent of the response to a poll taken by CBC Music.

As outlined in its mission statement, the prize aims to award creativity and diversity in Canadian-recorded music. The winner of the Polaris Music Prize is selected by a panel of Canadian journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and programmers. The Long List of nominees was whittled down to the Short List released on July 17. The final selection was made on Monday night during the Gala at the Masonic Temple in Toronto. Along with bragging rights, Feist was awarded $30,000.

The evening was dedicated to the contributions of Sam Sniderman, better known as Sam The Record Man, who passed away on Sept. 23.

Other notable mentions on the night included 2009 Polaris winner F*cked Up’s opening performance, which saw front-man Damian Abraham kiss his new-born and dedicate “Queen of Hearts” off the nominated album David Comes to Life to his three-year-old son Holden, who couldn’t be at the Gala because “he had other sh*t to do.”  In typical fashion, Abraham was shirtless by the end of the set.