The Overcast’s Borealis Music Prize is a quadruple-juried award, meaning that 4 separate juries form and judge its pre-longlist, longlist, and shortlist, and the final jury picks a winner from the shortlist. Surviving four juries means the winning album will have survived and pleased 4 separate juries, and dozens of individual jurors.

Each year, the winner receives $1,000 from The Overcast (presented at our annual Awards Gala & Holiday Party) + a trophy for their mantlepiece + January’s cover story. $1,000 makes it the highest purse for a local music award, and the press, we hope, translates into album sales and helps boost bios for local bands applying for grants, festivals, labels, and publicists.

The award’s name is a contraction of Aurora Borealis: a fitting term for an album that shines brightly enough to stand out among 150+ local albums every year, and for an award whose aim is to shine a light on local music.


While we enjoy the discussion every year on who shouldn’t have been omitted/included, please read these rules of eligibility to ensure your wrath is accurate. To be eligible for the 2016 Borealis Music Prize, an album must:

1.) Be at least 6 songs or 30 minutes long.

2.) Have been released between Oct. 31st, 2015, and November 1st, 2016.

Want to Be Sure Your, or Your Favourite Local Album is in the Running?

If your album is on Bandcamp or Soundcloud, and if The Overcast has covered  your eligible album, or if it came out this October, chances are it’s on our radar. But if you want to be sure it’s in the running, comment below, or, fire our editor an email and he’ll make sure the first jury talks about it: The longlist will appear in November’s issue of The Overcast, and online here on Nov. 1st.

Below is a pile of albums we’ve covered/noticed in the last year:

Adrian House – Love a Man

AE Bridger – Museum

AM/FM Dreams – In the Soft Corner

Armahain – Being Human

Bad Milk – Self-titled EP

Beauwater – Lovers, Kings, and Fools

Boat Haus – Coulda Swore

Cabbages and Kings – Vale

CAHHR – Rock Music Record

Chris Meyers & Kate Lahey (Blankets) – The Room That Held You Is Still There

Dame Nature – Dame Nature

Dave Picco – Start Again

Derm Kean and an Incredible Woman – Incredible

Doug Dorward – Waves

Duane Andrews – Conception Bay

Dope Piece – Dopeace

Earl & Coffin – Live at the Citadel House

Family Video – Places to Sleep

Fairgale – Own the Light

Fretboard Journey — Self-titled

Goreforge – Mythos

Green and Gold – And Then the New Crow Came

Happy Beats – Happy Beats

The Hashbrowns – Family Day

Hard Ticket – Tuff Cookie

Hip Waders – Meduza

Ilia Nicoll – I in Team

It Could be Frankie – Your Friends Don’t Buy it All

Isle of Ease – Roads

Jake Nicoll – Two Things / Half of Nothing

Janet Cull – Real Tough Love

Jeff Foran – Gallantry in Moderne Courtship

Justin Strong – Peace and Understanding

Kara Windsor Hehir – Fat Girl Flyin’ Down Long’s Hill

Kujo – Got Nothin

Lady Brett Ashley – Fault Lines

Laura Jean Fraser – Good Grief

Laura Madonna Murray – Solo So High

Lightning Mike – Struck by Lightning

London Above – Lazar

Mick Davis – Coats and Badges

Michael Hannaford’s – You’re Ugly and Your Mother Dresses You Funny

Mike Coffen – Time Walk

Mimi Stockland – Meat Floss

Mopey – Total Education

No Culture – River Post Motion

The Novaks – Eager Power Gentle Fury

The Once – We Win Some We Lose

Pet Legs – Radiation Fog

Pete Martin – Project X

Plainface – Crystal Spines

Pilot to Bombardier – Wild Bells

Plaid Boys – Plaid Boys

Repartee – All Lit Up

Rough Surf – Please Clap

Rum Ragged – Self-titled

Ryan Taylor – Nine Songs from Summer Sixteen

Sea Dogs – Dory of Souls

Shop Class – Industrial Art

Sonny Tripp – Work

Weird GF – Pineapple Crush

Wolf Kush – 1986

Young Manics – Challenger