Update your summer playlist with some of the remarkable Canadian artists who recently made the cut for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize Short List (a very big deal). 

If discovering new music is something you enjoy—something that’s important to you—but not something you’ve had time to explore lately, this list is a great starting point to get a better understanding of the wide range of cutting-edge Canadian talent that critics and fellow musicians are listening to and watching right now. 

Established in 2006, The Polaris Music Prize is awarded annually to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label. Selected by a jury, and with a $50,000 prize, it has grown to become a highly respected game-changing music prize in Canada, with arguably as much clout as a Juno award. Last year’s winner was Cadence Weapon for his album Parallel World, and other recipients of the prestigious prize include Haviah Mighty, Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq, and other artists we admire

The 2022 Polaris Music Prize Short List:


Pierre Kwenders – José Louis And The Paradox Of Love

Lisa Leblanc – Chiac Disco

Hubert Lenoir – PICTURA DE IPSE : Musique directe

Kelly McMichael – Waves

Ombiigizi – Sewn Back Together

Ouri – Frame of a Fauna

Shad – TAO

Snotty Nose Rez Kids – Life After

Charlotte Day Wilson – ALPHA

“This year’s 2022 Short List captures the ambition, creativity, and boundless potential of Canadian music from coast to coast. Bravo to our 10 nominees, and a huge thank you to our esteemed jury for offering their time and expertise. For the first time in a few years, I’m thrilled to suggest that if you have the opportunity to see any of the artists on this Short List live, you should. We’re all long overdue,” said Polaris jury foreperson Melissa Vincent.

The 2022 Polaris Prize winner will be announced on September 19 at the Polaris Gala, happening at The Carlu in Toronto, and it will be a memorable night in Canadian music history, which you can attend. 

To explore each album and artist in depth, cbcmusic.ca will be hosting Short List Summer, described as a “sprawling, season-long deep dive into the nominated records and the artists who made them.” Starting Monday, July 18, the Shortlist Shortcuts series “highlights one important gateway song from each of the nominated albums, as told by the short-listed artists.” Catch it live, or follow CBC Music on Instagram and/or TikTok.

From Ouri’s meditative tracks that put us in a trance-like state to Charlotte Day Wilson’s deeply emotive and healing soulful music to Lisa Leblanc’s melodic folksy vocals that brighten a day, there’s something for every listener and mood on this list.

General admission tickets to the Polaris Gala are currently available via Ticketmaster