Honestly, for me I adore the mid-period Hip. Between Phantom Power and World Container is an amazing run of albums that are interesting, experimental indie-rock with great lyrics and wonderful production. I totally dig them.
As far as best "artistic" choice I have to say Neil Young, clearly.
Rush has always been up there.
Max Webster and Kim Mitchell
Dug a lot of Tragically hip up to Phantom Power
Lately the Bros. Landreth (and Joey's solo material) is in constant rotation here.
Offenbach, Gerry Boulet (solo), Brasse-Camarade, etc. for great songs and playing
Wayne Eagles is also great to listen to (and to hang)
On the indie-er front, Slyde, Cécile Doo-Kingué, Joly, Ricky Paquette