Haviah Mighty has won the Polaris Music Prize 2019 for her album "13th Floor." The Prize, which was presented in Toronto by CBC Music, goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation.
It was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of 199 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.
Held at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto, the evening featured performances by nine of the 10 Polaris nominees. These included Marie Davidson, Elisapie, FET.NAT, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Les Louanges, Haviah Mighty, PUP, Shad and Snotty Nose Rez Kids. Jessie Reyez was also in attendance.
“For me, the 13th floor is something that we remove from our reality because it is something that we don’t understand and therefore we dismiss it,” said Haviah Mighty. “This is very parallel to so many of the experiences that I speak on, on this album. I’m in a room with so many different people from so many different walks of life who have acknowledged that this is something they feel is important. These people don’t necessarily share the narratives that I do or the walks of life that I have, and yet, here we are, finally on what I believe is the 13th floor. This is the moment of a resurgence where the dismissal that has existed is now being removed, and the discussion is being had. I’m so grateful that the people around me [who] push me to be brave enough to speak my truth and to have it be acknowledged in this way.”
Mighty’s victory came with a $50,000 monetary reward. The nine other Short List nominees each received $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.