Sunday, September 30, 2012

Get It Wrong, Get It Right

Photo of the jury by Dustin Rabin. I'm top right.
I've read a lot of strange things in the week since Feist was named winner of the 2012 Polaris Music Prize. Then again, I read strange things after every year's winner is announced. Shouldn't we be used to all this by now? The winner is barely even the point; the process of getting there, on the other hand, gets us all talking about excellence in Canadian music for four months of the year (between announcement of the long list and the gala), drawing the spotlight to dozens of artists who otherwise slip through the cracks.

As a juror this year, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement at the beginning of deliberations last Sunday night. (Apparently this is in part because, one year, a juror approached Artist X at the gala and told them how much Prominent Media Personality Y hated their record.) And so when I sat down to write about my experience, I had to be very careful not to quote anyone in the room other than myself, and not to suggest that any record made it into any particular round of voting. 

As I say often in the piece I ended up writing: every stage of the voting was very close, and very surprising. Records that I thought most of the jurors liked were voted out right away, and some of the more divisive records went all the way to the end. 

I collected my thoughts in this tell-all (well, tell-some) for Maclean's that went up today. Enjoy! 

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