The releases, one from each time period over the last six decades, will go down in history as the albums which would have likely won the Polaris Music Prize had it been established at the time. The accolade, which names Canada's Album of the Year, was only created in 2005.
Polaris founder and executive director Steve Jordan says, "This is the Polaris version of a hall of fame. As with the main Prize, we hope this award will lead to more discussion and discovery of timeless recorded art from our history."
The first albums were nominated to a shortlist by a 25-strong jury of industry experts, before allowing the public to vote for their favourites. The initial crop of Heritage winners are: Mitchell's Blue for the 1960s and 1970s, The Trinity Session by Cowboy Junkies for the 1980s, Sloan's Twice Removed for the 1990s, and Peaches' The Teaches of Peaches for the first five years of the 2000s.
The winning albums will be celebrated at a special 2016 tribute concert being organised by officials at Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, reports Billboard.com.
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Power in the Blood was awarded this year's (15) Polaris Music Prize.