Rich Aucoin

Inaugural Prism Prize to award best Canadian music video of 2012

It's not exactly dishonest to say that the glory days of MuchMusic and MTV Canada are a thing of the past. While Damian Abraham's revitalization of The Wedge may seek to change Canadian television's seemingly negative disposition towards the music video, in 2012 there are simply less music videos televised than there were throughout the 80s, 90s, and early ought's. This doesn't, however, mean that there are less Canadian videos being produced just as worthy of praise for their ingenuity, artistry, and dedication to crafting a symbiotic relationship between music and film as in the pre-Internet era.

Introducing the Prism Prize, an award that sets out to reclaim the Canadian music video its former glory and prevalence. Presented by the Association for Art & Social Change and founded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television's Louis Calabro, the $5000 prize will be split between the winning video's artist and production team. Judged on merits of originality, style, and innovation in the medium, the winner will ultimately be decided upon by a jury made up of Canadian journalists, bloggers, critics, and broadcasters. Any video released within the 2012 calendar year is eligible for the inaugural prize, which will be announced at the conclusion of the 2013 Canadian Music Week here in Toronto.

We may be only eight months into the year, but here are some of my favourite Canadian music videos of 2012 so far:

Rich Aucoin - Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E. (dir: Noah Pink)

This one's a ton of fun. Aucoin and his band recreate various Beach Boys album covers in a single long shot take for this tribute to one of pop's masterminds. And yes, for the sake of accuracy, there are goats.

Hey Rosetta! - New Sum (Nous Sommes) (dir: Jesse Davidge)

Some incredible animation makes this one a must-see. The video has a sort of graphic novel feel as it traces the interconnectedness between band and crowd in the context of a concert, in a self-effacing way that compliments the song's blue-eyed sincerity perfectly.

John K. Samson - Longitudinal Centre (dir: John K. Samson)

Last but not least, this is a video that I can't help but feel will be overlooked by most. It's certainly subtle, solely made up of landscape shots of scenic prairie terrain that look as if they may have been shot on handheld camera. However, the images perfectly reflect the ennui of the song's lyrics, embodying the listlessness of a place "where the Atlantic and Pacific are the very same - far away."

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