By: Staff –
Last night, the Prism Prize announced the Grand Prize and Audience Award winners for the 2021 edition of the annual awards, recognizing outstanding artistry in Canadian music videos. A jury of more than 130 media professionals from the music and visual arts industries selected Haviah Mighty’s “Thirteen,” directed by Theo Kapodistrias, as the Grand Prize winner and recipient of the $20,000 cash prize. The fan-voted Audience Award was won by directors Evan Elliot & Lance Sampson for “Pay it Forward” by Aquakultre.
The 2021 Prism Prize recognized the visual excellence of the Top 10 Canadian music videos of the year in a virtual presentation focused heavily on the nominated works. The show was narrated by Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon, and written by music journalist Sajae Elder.
Along with the Grand Prize and Audience Awards, the 2021 Prism Prize virtual presentation recognized several Special Award recipients, a group of immensely talented honourees who are making waves in the Canadian and international music industry.
Art punk band and multimedia collective Crack Cloud was presented with the Hi-Fidelity Award, established to recognize recording artists who utilize music video in innovative ways.
Director and photographer Gennelle Cruz was awarded the Lipsett Award, established to celebrate a unique approach to music video art.
Cinematographer Jordan Oram was granted the Special Achievement Award established to recognize an exceptional contribution to music video art on the world stage.
Renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson was given the Willie Dunn Award, presented to a Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music, music video and/or film production communities. As the recipient of this award, Leanne received a $2,500 honorarium and was asked to select an emerging Canadian creative to spotlight during the Prism Prize virtual presentation and to be the beneficiary of $2,500; she selected Inuk musician Beatrice Deer.
“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. This is artwork that we are honoured to add to the distinguished list of Prism Prize Grand Prize winners,” said Louis Calabro, VP, Programming & Awards at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and Founder of Prism Prize.