TORONTO - Kathleen Edwards, Stars and the Weakerthans are among the artists who have made the short list for the $20,000 Polaris Music Prize.

Ottawa's Edwards got the nod for her album "Asking for Flowers," while the Montreal band Stars is up for "In Our Bedroom After the War" and Winnipeg's Weakerthans for "Reunion Tour."

The other nominated bands are Vancouver's Black Mountain for "In the Future"; Basia Bulat of London, Ont., for "Oh, My Darling"; Caribou of Dundas, Ont., for "Andorra"; Toronto's Holy F--- for "LP"; Montreal's Plants and Animals for "Parc Avenue"; Shad of London, Ont., for "The Old Prince"; and Charlottetown's Two Hours Traffic for "Little Jabs."

Prize founder Steve Jordan characterized the list as a "rich mixture of styles from different regions, which once again points to the seemingly bottomless artistic vitality of Canadian music."

A jury of 178 music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers from across the country submitted their top five picks for best Canadian album released between June 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008.

The focus of the annual prize, now in its third year, is on artistic merit, not record sales.

Last year's winner was Montreal's Patrick Watson.

This year's winner will be decided by 11 selected Polaris jurors and announced at a gala concert event in Toronto on Sept. 29.