The Polaris Prize is an award that has long been embroiled in controversy for the albums that make and don’t make their long and short lists and the eventual winners.
This year’s winner, Tanya Tagaq for her album Animism, may be the first in the prize’s history to win overwhelming approval from the public, particularly following her chilling and stirring performance at last night’s Gala at The Carlu in Toronto. Yet the win was not without its controversy as she took the opportunity during her acceptance speech to speak out in support of the seal hunt and disparaged PETA.
“The pendulum always swings,” SOCAN chief membership officer Michael McCarty said (Tagaq is a member of SOCAN). “At this alternative, semi-underground culture event she got up and made this humorous and very passionate plea to stop demonizing people who hunt seals… It just goes to show you that there’s always an alternative to whatever the mainstream opinion is whether it’s music or art or social politics.”