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Halifax’s Thrush Hermit included among 2020 Polaris Heritage Prize contenders

The 1999 album Clayton Park by Halifax band Thrush Hermit is one of the 12 classic Canadian albums up for consideration, by public and jury vote, for the 2020 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize. Voting is now open for the ballot, which also includes landmark releases by Maestro Fresh Wes, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Pagliaro. - Sonic Unyon Records
The 1999 album Clayton Park by Halifax band Thrush Hermit is one of the 12 classic Canadian albums up for consideration, by public and jury vote, for the 2020 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize. Voting is now open for the ballot, which also includes landmark releases by Maestro Fresh Wes, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Pagliaro. - Sonic Unyon Records

Beloved Halifax indie-rock classic Clayton Park by Thrush Hermit is on the ballot for the 2020 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, with public voting open today.

The news of the voting comes after Monday night’s presentation of the 2020 Polaris Music Prize to the groundbreaking hip hop recording God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It by Montreal’s Backxwash. In place of its annual live gala held in Toronto, the Polaris presentation took place online, with specially created films highlighting the work of each nominated artist and 2019 winner Haviah Mighty announcing Backxwash as the winner.



Clayton Park received a 20th-anniversary reissue in 2019, followed by a reunion tour by the band, which included Joel Plaskett, Ian McGettigan, Rob Benvie and Cliff Gibb. Plaskett himself was on the 2020 Polaris Music Prize long list with his multi-album release 44, along with fellow Nova Scotians like Halifax soul/hip-hop artist Aquakultre’s Legacy and Clare synthpop artist P’tit Belliveau with Greatest Hits Vol. 1.

While half of the ballot includes returning nominees, this is the first appearance by both Thrush Hermit and the Clayton Park album in voting for the Heritage Prize.

Joining Clayton Park on the 12-album ballot are folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie’s debut It’s My Way, soul pioneer Jackie Shane’s Live, and reggae master Jackie Mittoo’s Wishbone. Also included are the self-titled debut by Ian & Sylvia Tyson’s folk-rock band Great Speckled Bird, composer Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s Keyboard Fantasies, One Wish by Toronto R&B singer Deborah Cox and hip-hop classics Symphony in Effect by Maestro Fresh Wes and Main Source’s Breaking Atoms.

Quebec artists represented this year include Robert Charlebois & Louise Forestier with Lindberg, Jean Leloup’s Le Dome and Pagliaro’s 1971 release Pagliaro.

The Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize was added to the Polaris Music Prize festivities in 2015, to recognize important and pioneering Canadian albums that predate Polaris, which was established in 2006. Past recipients added to this wide-ranging hall of fame have included artists like Oscar Peterson, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Rush, Alanis Morissette and East Coast bands Sloan and Eric’s Trip.

Two albums out of the 12 selected will receive Heritage Prize status, one chosen by the public vote and the other determined by a jury including music media and historians.
Voters can submit one vote per day until voting closes on Monday, Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. The new Heritage Prize designates will be revealed on Monday, Nov. 16.

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