TORONTO Buffy Sainte-Marie has won this year’s $50,000 Polaris Music Prize.
A jury of 11 music critics, bloggers and broadcasters named the album “Power in the Blood” the best Canadian record of the last year.
The folk icon beat out nine other finalists for the award including rap superstar Drake, former Polaris winner Caribou and Toronto rockers Alvvays.
Sainte-Marie, who already had a crowded trophy case heading into Monday night’s award ceremony, told the audience she didn’t expect to win the Polaris and appreciated its cash prize.
“I’ve got an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, a couple of Junos and a Gemini Award ‚Äî this is the only one I ever heard that gives the artist money. It’s real important, it’s becoming almost impossible for an artist to tour with a band and with instruments,” the 74-year-old musician said.
“It is a fact that it’s getting so hard to travel now.”
The award show, which was held in Toronto, was hosted by Juno-winning children’s entertainer Fred Penner.