Arcade Fire, Neil Young and Rush Among Winners of Polaris Heritage Prize

Neil Young
Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images

Neil Young performs on stage at the Beale Street Music Festival on April 29, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn.

Past albums by Canadian acts Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Rush, Blue Rodeo, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Arcade Fire and Lhasa were selected as the 2016 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize winners.

Two albums were selected for each of the four time periods -- 1960-1975; 1976-1985; 1986-1995; and 1996-2005 -- one album picked by a jury; the other by public vote.

For 1960-75, the public selected Neil Young's After the Gold Rush; the jury selected Leonard Cohen's Songs of Leonard Cohen.

For 1976-85, the public selected Rush's Moving Pictures; the jury selected Kate & Anna McGarrigle's self-titled album.

For 1986-95, the public selected Blue Rodeo's Five Days in July; the jury selected Mary Margaret O'Hara's Miss America.

For 1996-2005, the public selected Arcade Fire's Funeral; the jury selected Lhasa's La Llorona.

This is the first time a jury chosen an album. The prize was launched last year to recognize albums that might've been made the short-list for the Polaris Music Prize were it in existence then, and the winners were decided only by public vote.  The time frames were also changed.

Like the Polaris Music Prize, albums are selected based on artistic merit without regards to sales or affiliations.

The list of nominated albums was also increased to 10 titles (from last year's five) for each time period, selected by four separate juries of music critics, journalists, broadcasters and programmers from across Canada.

"I liked the idea of the critics picking one of those records," Polaris Music Prize founder Steve Jordan told Billboard when the changes were announced. "We do want to get fan engagement and the public engagement, but we don't want artists who are less popular and don't have that ability to mobilize a fan-base not to get the recognition."

He says it will not be possible for the same album to be picked by the fans and jury.  "No, we'll just go down the list."

Last year's winners were Blue by Joni Mitchell (60s & 70s); The Trinity Session by the Cowboy Junkies (80s); Twice Removed by Sloan (90s); and The Teaches of Peaches by Peaches (00s: 2000-2005).