Saskatoon hosts Polaris Prize Salon panel discussion

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Local music critics to weigh in on the Polaris Music Prize 2012 short list

Members of the Polaris Music Prize jury will be in attendance at a free panel discussion event to discuss the upcoming 2012 short list prize gala. The panel takes place on Wednesday, September 5 at The Two Twenty, 220 20th Street West, Saskatoon.

In addition to the Saskatoon discussion, the panel is also being hosted in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and New York City.

Saskatoon’s discussion will be moderated by Jeanette Stewart of The StarPhoenix, and will feature panelists Adrien Begrand of MSN Music, Craig Silliphant of Planet S Magazine as well as Ominocity’s own Chris Morin.

The purpose of the panel is to open a public forum to discuss and debate the merits of the artists nominated for the prize, says Stewart.

“I think having a public discussion on the Polaris opens it up to people, so it’s not just some secret back room discussion shrouded in secrecy,” she says. “I don’t think the Polaris should be some elitist thing – the secrecy surrounding awards like the Junos and the Grammys makes them feel a bit fishy. I’d like people to know how the Polaris is decided, which is in large part by an ongoing dialogue between fairly nerdy journalists all year long.

“It’s also a good chance for outreach and to let people know more about the prize. As a juror I’ve listened to a lot of great music this year. I mean, actually listened instead of that nonchalant ‘oh yeah, I know that band’ kind of thing we’re all guilty of. Keeping tabs on the Polaris Prize is a great way to find out more about the awesome music being made in Canada.”

This year’s Polaris Prize critic panel had nominated Saskatoon’s Shooting Guns to the long list – the group did not make it to the short list however.

The gala event is set to take place in Toronto on September 24.

Stewart says that in addition to a cash bar with proceeds going to the Ness Creek Cultural Society, there will be prizes, including a one-month subscription to Rdio, who are sponsoring the event, as well as vinyl records from the bands that are being considered for the prize.

“After a bit of Q & A with the panelists I’ll open the floor up to questions and discussion amongst everyone in attendance,” says Stewart.

“Hopefully it doesn’t get too rowdy.”

The Saskatoon salon starts at 8pm.

Polaris Prize Salon Panel