Polaris Music Prize Announces Departure of Executive Director Claire Dagenais

Polaris Music Prize Board of Directors and Claire Dagenais, Executive Director, announced today that Dagenais will be departing the organization after eleven years.

Joining the Polaris Music Prize team in 2010, Dagenais moved from administration to the position of Events and Office Manager in 2013, before stepping into the role of Executive Director in March 2020. During her tenure, Dagenais worked closely with all facets and evolution of the prize, including the highly-successful poster program and the activation of the community development program. Dagenais has been an important part of the team that  built the Polaris Music Prize Gala into one of the Canadian music industry's coveted events, with the 2020 Polaris Music Prize Celebration broadcast earning a Canadian Screen Award nomination this year for Best Live Production, Social Media.

“It has been an exceptionally rewarding eleven years of working and growing with the Polaris Music Prize,” comments Dagenais. "Stepping into the Executive Director role in the last year, and shepherding Polaris through what was a challenging year for music, and the world, was an enriching personal and professional experience that was equal measure of difficulty, sacrifice and reward. The next chapter for me will be focusing on my family. I am proud of my part in Polaris’ legacy and I am confident in the Prize’s bright shiny future ahead with whomever the Board chooses to lead the charge.”

Polaris Music Prize Board of Directors Chair, Miro Oballa, commented, “The Polaris Music Prize has continued to expand its reach and cultural influence with each passing year. Claire Dagenais had a great hand in that process for the past decade. We wish her the absolute best, and look forward to building on the foundation that she helped put in place.”

The board will commence the search for a new Executive Director shortly. In the meantime, the team at Polaris look forward to the 2021 edition.

The 40-album long list for the 2021 Polaris Music Prize has been revealed, and the 10-album shortlist will be unveiled on July 15.

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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