When it came to Vancouver hosting the Olympics, the closing ceremony saw only Canadian recording artists handling the entertainment portion: Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne, Simple Plan, and Hedley, among others. When London, UK hosted, the entertainment featured British stars. Those seem to be the rules. The host country shows the world what it’s made of. Toronto has broken those rules. It has been announced that two American rappers will be headlining the closing ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, and many are disappointed. The only Canadian announced to be performing is Serena Ryder who will attempt to get some verses in edgewise while sandwiched in between Kanye’s West’s family unfriendly expletives-packed, lecherous lyrics and his fellow American rapper Pitbull. To make matters worse, the mayor of Toronto shot himself in the foot by stating incorrectly that West is from Toronto. A petition is in circulation and this afternoon was up to 22,000 in favour of cancelling West’s performance at the games. It is unlikely that it will succeed.
In terms of charting singles and per capita album sales, Kanye West has seen significantly less success in Canada than in the United States. West (and Pitbull) no doubt have a number of fans in Canada but the voices of dissent are expressing the inappropriateness of the selection wanting instead to see Canadian stars (especially those from Ontario or even better Toronto itself). Last year, many Canadians were put off by an American band headlining the Grey Cup. The Pan Am Games website has not stated whether or not recording stars from any of the other 39 participating countries (Mexico, Brazil, Trinidad, Jamaica, etc.) will be performing.