Haviah Mighty wins 2021 Prism Prize for Thirteen video

Halifax soul/R&B artist Aquakultre's Pay it Forward picked up the audience award

Haviah Mighty has won this year’s Prism Prize for top Canadian music video.

The annual award show held a virtual ceremony on Monday (July 26) night, handing the grand prize to director Theo Kapidistrias for his animated video for the Toronto rapper’s song Thirteen. The award comes with $20,000.

The song is the centrepiece from Mighty’s Polaris Music Prize-winning album 13th Floor. She debuted the visual on Canada Day last year during a virtual performance at the El Mocambo. The song traces the lineage of anti-Black racism from the slave trade into the prison system and to present-day trauma.

“Music videos have always possessed the power to expand a viewer’s experience beyond the song. With Thirteen, Haviah and Theo take it one step further with their powerful and important storytelling,” said Louis Calabro, the Prism Prize’s founder, in a statement.

The Prism Prize’s fan-voted Audience Award went to directors Evan Elliot and Lance Sampson for Halifax soul/R&B artist Aquakultre’s Pay it Forward.

Previously announced winners include art punks Crack Cloud, who picked up the Hi-Fidelity Award, which recognizes artists who use music videos in innovative ways; director Gennelle Cruz won the Lipsett Award for creators who take unique approaches to music videos; and musician and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson won the Willie Dunn Award, which goes to a “Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music, music video and/or film production communities.”

Launched in 2021, the Prism Prize is a juried award that’s voted on by more than 120 music and film industry professionals. Each year the jury whittles a long list of 20 videos to a short list of 10. The nine other videos on the short list each receive $1,000.

Watch the Thirteen video below and read a Q&A with Haviah Mighty about the song here.


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