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Charlotte Day Wilson’s ‘Work’ wins 2018 Prism Prize for best Canadian music video

Melody Lau

Toronto R&B artist Charlotte Day Wilson and director Fantavious Fritz have been awarded the 2018 Prism Prize for best Canadian music video of the year for “Work.”

The winner was announced on Sunday night at a gala presentation in Toronto, where both Wilson and Fritz received the $15,000 award. During their acceptance speech, the winning duo announced that they would split the prize money and give it away to two important causes: a women's shelter and a "one-time grant" that will be given to a female director for a music video.

"The video, to us, is very much about making space for other people, so with that in mind, we wanted to make sure that the prize was used for something that we also value in a way that can either make space for people or help those who need it," Fritz told CBC Music following the gala, noting the importance of a grant, however small, in light of MuchFact's cancellation last year, removing a significant source of money from Canadian artists and directors.

Wilson adds: "I knew I wanted to donate my portion because it didn't cost me any money to make the video and I didn't want to profit off of people who had volunteered their time [...] I walk past a women's shelter every day, and have for a couple of years, that I always felt needed some help so I kind of felt like, who really needs the money?"

“Work,” which was released in January 2017, shows a continuous stream of women and gender non-binary people going down an escalator. The idea, which Fritz has described as a re-imagining of "the familiar image of people commuting to work as a moving portrait," was inspired by Wilson's travels to London, England, and fixating on the transit system there. "I kept on, for some reason, just standing at the bottom of escalators and filming people coming down, which is borderline creepy," Wilson explains. "But I really liked that stagnant image of everyone going their own way, getting three-second glimpses into people's lives."

In addition to the main award, the Prism Prize offers an audience award to the video on its long list that receives the most votes from the public. This year's Prism Prize Audience Award went to directors Keavan Yazdani and Sean Brown for Daniel Caesar’s “Freudian, A Visual.”

The 2018 Special Achievement Award, celebrating a Canadian music video artist “for their artistic achievements and exceptional contribution to music video art on a world stage,” was awarded to Cherie Sinclair of the Field who has worked with Tegan and Sara, Austra, Shad and others.

And finally, Kerena Evans, best known for her recent work on Drake’s “God’s Plan” and "Nice for What" videos, was given the Lipsett Award for innovation and unique approach to music videos, and artist and director Grimes was presented with the Hi-Fidelity Award for her “strong visual identity through music videos.”

Charlotte Day Wilson will be performing at this year's CBC Music Festival. For more information about the lineup and tickets, go here.

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Prism Prize top 10 revealed: Feist, Grimes, Leonard Cohen up for grand prize

5 things you need to know about newcomer Charlotte Day Wilson