Haviah Mighty has won this year’s Prism Prize for the top Canadian music video.
The annual award show held a virtual ceremony on Monday (July 26) night, handing the grand prize to director Theo Kapidistrias for his animated video for the Toronto rapper’s song "Thirteen". The award comes with $20,000.
The song is the centrepiece from Mighty’s Polaris Music Prize-winning album 13th Floor. She debuted the visual on Canada Day last year during a virtual performance from Toronto. The song traces the lineage of anti-Black racism from the slave trade into the prison system and to present-day trauma.
“Music videos have always possessed the power to expand a viewer’s experience beyond the song. With 'Thirteen', Haviah and Theo take it one step further with their powerful and important storytelling,” Prism Prize founder Louis Calabro explained in a statement.
The Prism Prize’s fan-voted Audience Award went to directors Evan Elliot and Lance Sampson for Halifax soul and R&B artist Aquakultre’s "Pay it Forward".
Previously announced winners include art punks Crack Cloud, who picked up the Hi-Fidelity Award, which recognizes artists who use music videos in innovative ways; director Gennelle Cruz won the Lipsett Award for creators who take unique approaches to music videos; and musician and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson won the Willie Dunn Award, which goes to a “Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music, music video, and/or film production communities”.
Launched in 2021, the Prism Prize is a juried award that’s voted on by more than 120 music and film industry professionals. Each year the jury whittles a long list of 20 videos to a short list of 10. The nine other videos on the short list each receive $1,000.
Watch the "Thirteen" video below and read a Q&A with Haviah Mighty about the song here.