Around 300 Canadian musicians, journalists, and a small private audience, gathered at the Masonic Temple in Toronto to honor the best Canadian albums of the past year. Out of ten albums, Fucked Up’s The Chemistry of Common Life emerged with the title of Canadian album of the year and a $20,000 cheque.
The gala kicked off with a stripped down acoustic performance by Emily Hanes and James Shaw of Metric. The duo preformed a stunning rendition of “Help, I’m Alive” and “Gimme Sympathy.”
Patrick Watson also turned in a great one song performance, as the band wandered through the crowd wearing a suit covered in branches of lights. Jian Ghomeshi of the CBC joined the group on percussion.
The crowd got in on the act as Elliott BROOD handed out cooking sheets and wooden spoons for a bit of improvised audience percussion. Moving through the set, Elliott BROOD namedropped the short list nominees in between the pings and pangs of the crowd.
Fucked Up capped off the night with a roaring set. Taking the stage half naked, Pink Eyes’ growling vocals stood out from the smoother voices on display earlier in the night.
Last year’s Polaris Prize winner, Caribou, took stage to pass on the torch to Fucked Up.
Accepting the prize, Pink Eyes complained about security frisking the group but went on to say that the gift iPods made up for inconvenience. Then Pink Eyes quickly added that winning the Polaris is “better than an iPod!”
With files from Josh O’Kane, CUP National Bureau Chief.