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Canada’s Polaris Music Prize Announces the 2022 Grand Prize Winner!

Team Play MPE

September 20, 2022

What a big day in Canadian music!

The results of the Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, were announced at last night’s gala event in Toronto, Ontario. The big winner is Pierre Kwenders for the albumJosé Louis And The Paradox Of Love’! 

“This is crazy, I don’t even know what to think. This is for all the kids from the diaspora, the African diaspora, moving in Canada. Sometimes you feel like you don’t know what you’re running into, or what you’re coming into. But there is hope, there is a place to live and dream and be yourself. This album, especially, is about being yourself and telling your own story. José Louis And The Paradox Of Love is there for you, you know, if you feel you can connect, connect! Let’s talk! Let’s have fun! Let’s be ourselves! Let’s love each other, while we are alive. Bisou!” – Pierre Kwenders

The Polaris Music Prize is one of the highest creative honours a Canadian artist can receive, so a huge congratulations is due to Pierre Kwenders! Every year, the Short List finalists perform in front of the Polaris Gala audience including the Grand Jury of eleven music media professionals who anoint one grand prize winner from the final ten. 

This Grand Prize Jury is selected from a larger pool of jurors – 197 Canadian writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities – who had determined the initial Long and Short Lists. Grand Prize Jurors included Jenny Feniak (Edmonton Journal), Dany Gallant (CISM), Élise Jetté (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste pigiste), Marc-Xavier Leblanc (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste pigiste), Brennan McCracken (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste pigiste), Daniel McIntosh (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste pigiste), Olivia Michalczuk (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste pigiste), Max Mohenu (Freelance Journalist / Journaliste pigiste), Marie-Lise Rousseau (Journal Métro), Melissa Tobin (CBC Radio 1) and Jasper Sloan Yip (CITR).

Pierre Kwenders will receive a number of incredible prizes including $50,000 from Polaris Music Prize! Play MPE is pleased to also provide a global music promotion distribution package for one release worth up to $3,025 CAD. 

The nine other Short Listers will receive $3000 courtesy of Slaight Music as well as music promotion distribution packages from Play MPE worth up to $1,000 CAD.

Team Play MPE is pleased to send the Polaris Music Prize winner Pierre Kwenders, and all of the Short List nominees’ music nationally and globally! Canada is full of incredibly talented artists, and we are happy to help bring their music to a wider audience.

The 2022 Polaris 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

In Polaris Music Prize tradition, Pierre Kwender’s big win was announced by last year’s grand prize winner, Cadence Weapon at the Polaris Gala. The event was held live at The Carlu in Toronto, Ontario, Monday September 19th. 

Play MPE was thrilled to distribute Cadence Weapon’s ‘Parallel World’ to tastemakers as part of his 2021 prize package. 


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