Lido Pimienta wins 2017 edition of $50,000 Polaris Prize

Lido Pimienta performs at the 2017 Polaris Music Prize Gala.
September 19, 2017

Colombian-born SOCAN member Lido Pimienta won the 2017 edition of the $50,000 Polaris Prize for the best album in Canada, on Sept. 18, 2017, at The Carlu in downtown Toronto.

Pimienta's independently-released, Spanish-language album La Papessa ("high priestess" in English) was widely viewed as an unlikely winner in the competition. Many songs on the independent release touch on such socially conscious matters as First Nations rights, the global water crisis, struggles against the patriarchy, and barriers to immigration.

Accepting the award onstage in the company of both her mother and her son, Pimienta -- who emigrated to Canada a decade ago, and began working with like-minded, politically-charged artists like A Tribe Called Red, and releasing her music independently -- said, "I hope that the Aryan specimen who told me to go back to my own country two weeks after I arrived in London, Ontario, Canada is watching this."

The 2017 gala featured captivating live performances from nominees Pimienta, Lisa LeBlanc, Weaves, Leif Vollebek, and past-Polaris-winner nominees Feist and Tanya Tagaq; live-to-video performances from nominees A Tribe Called Red, BadBadNotGood, and Gord Downie; and the worldwide premiere of a new music video by the late Leonard Cohen.

SOCAN congratulates Pimienta on this great career accomplishment!