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Ellen Page

Ellen Philpotts-Page, actor, activist, producer (born 21 February 1987 in Halifax, NS). Ellen Page is a serious, soulful and intelligent actor, and one of Canada’s biggest movie stars. A seasoned child performer, she started out in Canadian feature films and TV series, winning two Gemini Awards by the time she was 18. Her intense performance in the American indie Hard Candy (2005) led to high-profile roles in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and the indie smash Juno (2007). Juno earned her an Independent Spirit Award and an Oscar nomination and made her a household name virtually overnight. Adept at quirky comedy (Whip It, Super), intimate drama (Marion Bridge, Mouth to Mouth) and big-budget blockbusters (Inception, the X-Men franchise), she is equally well-known for her environmental activism, her advocacy for LGBTQ rights and her grounded, socially-conscious persona.

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Arcade Fire

Montreal’s Arcade Fire are an eclectic indie rock band with baroque and pop undertones. They are known for their expansive membership and almost orchestral instrumentation, serious lyrical and thematic concerns, an anthemic yet iconoclastic sound and dramatic build-ups to moments of catharsis. The band’s breakthrough debut album, Funeral (2004), is widely considered one of the best rock albums of the 21st century. Their third album, The Suburbs (2010), won Juno Awards, a Grammy Award and the Polaris Music Prize. Their theatrical, exuberant live shows have made them a popular touring act and enhanced their worldwide popularity. They have been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and more than two dozen Juno Awards, winning twice for Songwriter of the Year and three times each for Alternative Album of the Year and Album of the Year.

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Shad

Shadrach Kabango (a.k.a. Shad, Shad K.), rapper, singer, songwriter, radio host (born 18 July 1982 in Kenya). Witty, passionate and earnest, Shad is a Juno Award-winning rapper known for his sharp, socially conscious lyrics. His playful musical style blends rap and hip-hop with rock, R&B and other genres. In 2008 and 2010, the National Post named him the best rapper in Canada, and in 2013 CBC Music ranked him No. 2 in their list of the 25 Greatest Canadian Rappers Ever. Paste magazine hailed him in 2013 as “Canada’s most talented, genuine musical artist and one of the industry’s finest poets.” Shad has been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize four times (2008, 2010, 2014, 2019) and hosted CBC Radio One’s flagship talk show q from April 2015 to August 2016.

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Polaris Music Prize

The Polaris Music Prize was founded by Steve Jordan in 2006 and is awarded annually to the Canadian artist or group who creates the best full-length album. The mandate of the Polaris Music Prize has been likened to that of the UK’s Mercury Prize; all genres of contemporary music are eligible, and albums are judged on artistic merit rather than on commercial success. The winner is announced at the Polaris Music Prize Gala held each September in Toronto . The original cash prize of $20,000 was increased to $30,000 in 2011 and to $50,000 in 2015. Shortlisted artists have often performed at the Gala, which is broadcast live on CBC Radio 3 and YouTube.