Montreal musicians dominate Polaris shortlist
Jul 11, 2007 07:44 PM
Pop Music Critic
The votes are in and, apparently, Toronto is no longer quite the centre of the Canadian musical universe.
Only expat-Torontonian Leslie Feist - who actually hails originally from Calgary - muscled her way onto the shortlist for the second annual Polaris Music Prize, unveiled yesterday afternoon during a reception on the Drake Hotel's rooftop patio attended by such homegrown rockers as Joel Plaskett and Olga Goreas of the Besnard Lakes.
The tres au courant indie scene in Montreal, represented by five acts including rising stars Arcade Fire and Patrick Watson, dominated the final voting. More than 170 music writers and broadcasters from across the country who were polled last month on their favourite Canadian albums released between June 1, 2006 and May 31, 2007. The rest came from points as varied as Hamilton, Halifax, Calgary and Sackville, N.B.
"It was an arduous process," said Polaris founder Steve Jordan. "We saw some records move up and down in the balloting as time went on, and I think people really gave serious consideration to their choices. It's going to be a real challenge to pick a winner ... All of these records are 'epics' in some way."
The Polaris shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible.
The Besnard Lakes, Are the Dark Horse.
The Dears, Gang of Losers.
Julie Doiron, Woke Myself Up.
Feist, The Reminder.
Junior Boys, So This is Goodbye.
Miracle Fortress, Five Roses.
Joel Plaskett Emergency, Ashtray Rock.
Chad VanGaalen, Skelliconnection.
Patrick Watson, Close to Paradise.
The winner will be determined after a day of hard-fought argument between a small group of final jurors on Sept. 24 and announced that same night during a gala concert. The prize - taken last year by Toronto's Final Fantasy for his album He Poos Clouds - is $20,000 cash.
A Polaris compilation album featuring tracks by each of the nominees will also be released on Aug. 28.
Je pense que ça va vous faire plaisir...
Globe and Mail Update
April 16, 2008 at 1:43 PM EDT
Montreal has edged ahead of midtown Manhattan to create an all-Canadian list of the top five office rental markets in North America in the first quarter of 2008, according to a study released Wednesday by real estate brokerage Cushman Wakefield & LePage.
Canada's five largest cities had the lowest office vacancy rates of the 15 major leasing markets in North America in the first three months of the year, according to Cushman Wakefield's data.
Downtown Montreal took fifth spot on the list with a vacancy rate of 5.8 per cent, but posted the largest year-over-year drop at 3.5 percentage points due to strong demand and a lack of new supply.
This caused it to squeak by midtown Manhattan, the strongest market in the United States, with an office vacancy rate of 6 per cent.
“Montreal has experienced years of virtual stagnation in the office leasing market. But slow and steady economic growth and a lack of new development over the past decade have transitioned Montreal from a tenant market to a landlord market,” Colum Bastable, president and chief executive officer of Cushman & Wakefield, said in a statement.
At a vacancy rate of just 2.6 per cent, Vancouver had the tightest downtown office rental market of the 15 cities included in the study. This was followed by Calgary at 3.6 per cent, Toronto at 3.9 per cent, Ottawa at 4.1 per cent and Montreal at 5.8 per cent.
The city with the highest downtown office vacancy rate was Dallas at 28.7 per cent, far greater than the next on the list, Los Angeles, at 13.5 per cent.
The sharpest rise in vacancy rate occurred in Calgary, growing to 4.5 per cent in the first quarter from a low of 1.4 per cent in the same period of 2007. Vacancies remained tight in Class A downtown buildings in the city at a rate of just 1.8 per cent.
Despite a weakening provincial economy and three new office towers under construction, Toronto's vacancy rates continue to decline, Mr. Bastable said.
The study also measured vacancy rates in suburban areas, where Canada's market was again tighter than that of the U.S.
Toronto's suburbs had the lowest vacancy rate of these markets in the first quarter at 7.2 per cent, followed by those of Calgary at 7.4 per cent, Ottawa at 7.5 per cent, Vancouver at 9.3 per cent and Montreal at 11.2 per cent.
The suburbs of Dallas had the highest vacancy rate at 21.5 per cent, followed by those of central New Jersey at 20.3 per cent and Chicago at 19 per cent.
“All of Canada's major markets are well positioned to weather an economic downturn. Years of conservative and prudent development, along with low interest rates, will work to keep supply and demand in relative equilibrium even as the economy and demand slacken,” Mr. Bastable said.