The jury has spoken. Feist's Metals was named the winner of this year's Polaris Music Prize at last night's gala in Toronto. The announcement was made by members of Arcade Fire, who took home last year's Polaris Prize for their 2010 album The Suburbs.

Feist is the first female artist to win the Polaris Music Prize. Speaking before an audience of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers in the Concert Hall Studios at Toronto's Masonic Temple, Leslie Feist was surprised and somewhat unprepared to give a speech.

"You'd think from a lifetime of terrible speeches, I would remember at one point to write something down," Feist said. "Thank you so much, I've been really inspired tonight."

The singer-songwriter thanked her manager, her label Arts & Crafts, her tour managers and her "brothers in music" Chilly Gonzales and Mocky, Brian LeBarton and Lucky Paul Taylor. "Everyone had a favourite here tonight, and I did too, and I did not think it was me. I'm just really shocked, and I'm really grateful to be a part of the night."

Each year, a jury of 11 members is sequestered in a room at the Masonic Temple to determine a grand prize winner. This year's grand jury included broadcasters, bloggers and journalists from Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa. The jury's mandate is to award an album based on "highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history."

As the winner of the seventh annual Polaris Prize, Feist was presented with this year's grand prize, a $30,000 cheque, and a one-week free rental of a VIP Deluxe Splitter tour bus for her next European tour. The nine remaining shortlisted artists will each receive $2,000, courtesy of Slaight Music. 

Past winners of the Polaris Music Prize include Montreal's Arcade Fire (2011), Montreal's Karkwa (2010), Toronto's F--cked Up (2009), Dundas's Caribou (2008), Montreal's Patrick Watson (2007) and Toronto's Final Fantasy (2006).

Keep watching CBC Music for more coverage from this year's Polaris Music Prize gala. 

Related:

Check out Grant Lawrence's Top 5 best moments from the Polaris gala

Listen to our podcast version of last night's Polaris gala

Stream Feist's Polaris Music Prize nominated album Metals

CBC Radio 3's Polaris Music Prize gala podcast

posted by Elliott Garnier on Sep 24, 2012