Politics often play a hand in awards like the Polaris Music Prize. But federal politics?
Even from the selection process, there were (g)rumblings of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, as some have argued Crystal Castles, the Toronto dance duo still blowing up across the Atlantic, were left off the ballot because of several copyright disputes.
But tonight judges have a rare opportunity to go beyond music industry politics and insert themselves into the federal election.
After the government name-checked them as a scapegoat for controversial arts funding cuts, their Polaris stock most likely went up. Or at least the stakes did.
The mere selection of Patrick Watson as last year's winner - who bested more endearing acts like Feist and Arcade Fire - suggests judges like the scrappy pick, and are not afraid to buck expectations. And, given the Polaris is still a fledging award, it makes sense that the winner be as headlining-grabbing as possible.
So who better than enemy-of-the-state punks like Holy Fuck?
And where better to announce Holy Fuck as the winner than at an arts gala - the same type of gala the Conservatives are attacking in the media?
Then again, funding to PromArts was cut after it selected Holy Fuck as a recipient. Would Polaris, which also relies on funding from the government of Canada, face the same fate?
The Polaris Prize gala is tonight at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. Listen to the live broadcast on Sirius channel 86 and on radio3.cbc.ca starting at 8 pm.