Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Buffy Sainte-Marie Takes Canada's Polaris Prize For Album of the Year

Buffy Sainte-Marie has won Canada's Polaris Prize for the best album of the year by a Canadian artist, beating out such artists as Drake, the New Pornographers and Caribou.

Sainte-Marie, 74, has been part of the music scene since her 1964 debut It's My Way! and is known for writing and recording such songs as Universal Soldier, Soldier Boy, Until It's Time For You to Go and I'm Gonna Be a Country Girl Again. In May, she released her album Power in the Blood which contained a combination of new music and updated versions of some of Sainte-Marie's earlier songs.

Power in the Blood is the most political album to ever win the Polaris, an award that previously honored such artists as Arcade Fire, Feist, Patrick Watson, Caribou and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

In her acceptance speech, Sainte-Marie said "I bought everybody’s album and listened to every cut; they’re all so good. Thank you all so very much. And to the Polaris Prize in general. Just the idea that it’s all genres; it has nothing to do with record sales so there’s no payola. I’ve got an Academy Award and a Golden Globe and a couple Junos and a Gemini Award -- this is the only one I’ve ever heard that gives the artist money.

"It’s real important because it’s become almost impossible for an artist to tour with a band and with instruments. The airlines are just killing us…It’s getting so hard to travel now for high school and college sports and music programs with their instruments and their gear…so I’m asking the music community, please put your heads into that and figure out a way so not only arts, but also sports can be supported."

Sainte-Marie said that she would split her prize money of $50,000 between three charities representing animal rights, marginalized people and the environment along with using some to fix her home studio.

Still to come this year are the winners of the first Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize for albums release prior to the start of the Polaris Prize.