The long list of 40 nominees for the 2014 Polaris Prize was announced in Calgary today. Because the Polaris is based on input from music journalists, broadcasters, and industry insiders, it’s generally regarded as having a bit more artistic cred than awards like the Junos and Grammys where album sales are the main barometer of success.

Here’s a link to a CBC article on the nominees. Some familiar names are on the list such as Arcade Fire, Drake, and the Cowboy Junkies. Fans of Canadian music in particular will also likely find some recognizable names such as Austra, Basia Bulat, Shad and Chad VanGaalen.

I’m an occasional contributor to Prairie Dog’s CD section, and four albums that I reviewed in the last eight months or so are on the list including The Sadies (Internal Sounds), Timber Timbre (Hot Dreams), Pink Mountaintops (Get Back) and Tanya Taqaq (Animism).

As you can see from the CBC article, a short list of 10 nominees will be announced on July 15 and the 2014 Polaris will be awarded at a gala ceremony in Toronto on Sept. 22. To close, here’s the video for the second single off Timber Timbre’s album. It’s called “Beat the Drum Slowly”, and the animation was done by none other than Chad vanGaalen: