Headlines and Footdots for November 27, 2017

Shania Twain the Real Grey Cup Champion

If there is one truth in Canadian football, it’s never over ’til it’s over. The Calgary Stampeders had all but wrapped things up for a victory but a fumble close to touchdown territory led to a record-breaking 109-yard TD from the Toronto Argonauts to tie the game, winning minutes later with a field goal. The real victor of the game, however, was Shania Twain who rocked the halftime show. Entering the stadium on a real live dog sled over the field covered in snow to the stage she performed three of her hits: “That Don’t Impress Me Much”, “Life’s About to Get Good”, and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” capping it off by saying, “Man! I feel like a Canadian” to cheers from the bundled up 36,000 attendees.

RIP Patrick Bourgeois

Patrick Bourgeois singer of multiplatinum Canadian band Les BB has passed away from cancer at the young age of 55. We offer our condolences to family, friends, and fans.

CBC Publishes Best Songs of the Year List

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has published a list of its picks for the 100 best Canadian artist songs of 2017. Excluded are songs released after November 1. On the plus side it is a nice mixture of popular songs and underground ones as well as various genres. “Passionfruit” by Drake is placed at #1. While the list includes Allophone tracks, it excludes Francophone ones and states that this is “a task our sister site ICI Musique will be undertaking”. This kind of segregation reminds us of how Black people and White people in the U.S. have been required to go to separate establishments. What the broadcaster should have done is create one list that includes Anglo, Franco, and Allo songs and publish the same list on both sites with English language writeups on the songs at CBC Music and French language writeups at ICI Musique. That would be a nonracist way of doing things.

Justin Bieber Surprises Whistler Hockey Team

Justin Bieber was in Whistler, BC last week, a surprise visit to the members of a local hockey team. He apparently casually slipped in during their practice to join the scrimmage. The coach simply told the players a “new guy” would be stopping by to try out for the team. Of the Biebs’ hockey skills, the father of one of the players wrote on his Facebook page, “The Biebs has pretty good hands and knew exactly where to be. He was super humble and a true gentleman. I gained a lot of respect for him as a result. Thank you JB!!!” Justin scored two goals during the practice. He hung around afterwards to chat with the players and pose for photos.

“He was very humble, he was very polite, and just excited to be there. We gave him a jersey, and he instantly put it on. He just wanted to go play,” said Steve Legge, president of the Whistler Minor Hockey Association.

Ruth B Returns to Her Old High School

Multiplatinum superstar Ruth B returned to her old high school in Edmonton – Ross Sheppard – to help the choir sing her song “Lost Boy”. We leave you with a video of that encounter.

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Headlines and Footdots November 21, 2017

Michael Bublé took a rain check cancelling out of hosting the JUNO awards this year. He is now booked to host the event in his home metropolis, Vancouver, March 25, 2018. Tickets for the JUNOs go on sale Friday, November 24, 2017. With the network changeover, it will be broadcast on CBC.

Pop star Suzie McNeil has given birth to a baby boy, Findlay James Mactaggart. The little guy was born Friday, November 17, 2017 in Toronto.

A #5 album is scored by Canadian folk pop duo 2Frères. La Route is the brothers’ second LP.

Shania Twain has recorded a duet with Texas singer Nick Jonas, “Say All You Want for Christmas”. Listen for it at radio. Watch Shania perform at the half-time show at the Grey Cup Sunday, November 26, 2017 in Ottawa, as The Toronto Argonauts take on The Calgary Stampeders. It has been four years since a Canadian act headlined.

New Releases Oct 27: Downie, TOAD, Wanting

This week sees at least 26 Canadian artist LPs and 5 EPs bringing our year-to-date totals to 597 LPs and 113 EPs. Before we get to the new discs, there are a couple of newsworthy items to talk about.

Drake Does Not Submit to the Grammys

Drake stirred things up in some media circles recently because he did not submit his album More Life for consideration to the U.S. Grammy Awards. The diamond recording artist also did not submit any tracks from the album. More Life debuted at #1 on the official charts and has gone double platinum spawning four Top 10 hits: “Passionfruit”, “Portland”, “Blem”, and “Fake Love”. Nominations for the flagship U.S. music awards gala will be announced November 28. The rapper from Toronto has won three Grammys to date, and did not attend this year’s show despite winning two. His PR folks haven’t offered comment. It remains to be seen whether the album will be submitted to the JUNOs.

Kristina Maria Explains Her Absence

Highly successful, JUNO nominated Ottawan dance pop star Kristina Maria has been largely absent from social media over the past few years, and fans have been worried, including us. Kristina’s debut album Tell the World spawned an incredible 6 charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100; five of which made the Top 40, and three of which went gold. Maria finally spilled the beans on what has happened in a recent post. We quote it below.

I feel like I’ve been hiding from you guys, and it’s not what I wanted to do, I promise. I spent that last 2 years working on my new album and I had to walk away from the project because somethings weren’t feeling right. I’m not going to go into detail but I left my label to pursue music independently, well at least for now. I’ll be forever thankful for everything my previous label has done but my focus needs to be on me giving my fans 100% of who I am. I’ve hyped you guys up and then left you out in the dark and it hurts me to not be able to share what I’ve worked so hard on. I’m starting over from the ground up and to all my fans that stuck around, honestly I owe you the world!! I’m not going to rush a release or make any promises, all I can say for now is thank you.

New Releases: What’s Hot

His final album, a sensitive double disc effort, is a beauty. Gord Downie‘s Introduce Yerself tops iTunes as fans across the country mourn the Kingstoner’s passing from glioblastoma.

JUNO winning Delta, BC rock band Theory of a Deadman gives us a Wake Up Call on the new album sitting comfortably in the iTunes Top 10.

Toronto R&B duo Majid Jordan examines The Space Between. Between what, we do not know. The album is very impressive, rich and catchy with downtempo grooves and perky beats.

New Releases: What’s Cool

Some of you may remember Pembroke, Ontario’s Blinker the Star‘s nifty brand of alternative rock in the 90s. Well, guess what, the band is still active, presenting fresh album 8 of Hearts which is a treat.

Vancouver based Wanting serves up her third album with the Nettwerk Music Group, LLL, which stands for Love, Loss, Latitude. One of the finest songwriters in the land, Wanting provides a neapolitan flavour disc of singer-songwriter, pop, and adult contemporary.

Toronto jazz group Turboprop wants to Rev things up, and does just that. Ernesto Cervini recruits expert players Tara Davidson, Joel Frahm, William Carn, Adrean Farrugia, and Dan Loomis on this great disc.

Saskatoon double JUNO nominated group The Deep Dark Woods is never short of ideas. Yarrow continues the creative journey in the realm of picturesque alternative folk.

There are a couple of Children’s albums out this week. Three-time JUNO winner Jack Grunsky outdoes himself on the highly engaging Theatro Muppiloo which is super fun for folks of all ages.

Finally, those who dig alternative modern rock will find plenty of savoury treats on Le trésor des bas fonds from Nico Lelièvre.

Lexi Strate

Western Canadian award-winning pop artist Lexi Strate has released brand new single “Going Going Gone” complete with a VHS-themed music video which we embed below. After that, find the above albums plus plenty more in a table of new releases.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE ORIGIN
…Rocheuses Arthur L’aventurier Children’s QC
Winnowing Bird City Folk ON
8 of Hearts Blinker The Star Alt Rock ON
Influence Brain Size 61 Punk Rock QC
Transistor The Brood Alt NS
Apollo Les Chercheurs d’or S-S QC
Gaspericana Dans l’Shed Roots QC
High Times Dan Talevski Pop ON
Yarrow The Deep Dark Woods Alt Folk SK
Introduce Yerself Gord Downie Alt ON
Theatro Muppiloo Jack Grunsky Children’s ON
Post Meridiem Jasper Sloan Yip S-S BC
Cabanon Jean-Marc Couture Rock NB
Priere Kaas Sky Yassong Reggae QC
Working Man’s Blues Kat Goldman S-S ON
Requiem Kristina & A. Stanké World QC
The Space Between Majid Jordan R&B ON
Les Monsieurs Les Monsieurs Rock QC
Le trésor des bas fonds Nico Lelièvre Alt Rock QC
This Trip Petra Glynt Alt QC
Wake Up Call Theory of a Deadman Rock BC
Rev Turboprop Jazz ON
Fifteen Wailin’ Jennys Folk MB
LLL Wanting Pop BC
A Stare Ajar Whimm Punk ON
De Cienfuegos a Montreal Yordan Martinez World QC
Zero (EP) Runaway Angel Country ON
Do You (EP) Pony Alt Rock ON
On a Chain (EP) Heavy Hearts Alt Rock ON
Songs for Georgia (EP) Dan Davidson Country AB
All In (EP) Clay Ravens Folk Rock BC

Canada’s Walk of Fame Honours Stompin’ Tom and Shawn Hook

Canada’s Walk of Fame recently announced its latest batch of inductees. They are athlete Donovan Bailey, humanitarian Viola Desmond, actress Anna Paquin, entrepreneur Ted Rogers, educator David Suzuki, and musical legend Stompin’ Tom Connors. Recording artist Shawn Hook has been named recipient of the Allan Slaight award. These will be honoured at the Beyond Famous Gala November 15 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. Also featured is the unveiling of a special Star for Canada in commemoration of Canada 150.

Stompin’ Tom Connors

Connors has over 300 songs credited to his name with sales in excess of 4 million copies. Some of his most popular country tunes are “Bud the Spud”, “Luke’s Guitar”, “The Bridge Came Tumbling Down”, “Sudbury ‪Saturday Night”, “Big Joe Mufferaw”, “Ketchup Song”, and Canadian anthem “The Hockey Song”. Stompin’ Tom won six JUNO awards from 1971-1975. He was born in Saint John, NB.

Shawn Hook

Shawn is from small town BC and has placed six songs on the Billboard Hot 100: “Every Red Light” (65), “So Close” (68), “Million Ways” (44), “Sound of Your Heart” (23), “Relapse” (88), and “Reminding Me” (30). Both of his Top 30 hits struck platinum. Shawn has been working hard to promote his brand internationally. His newest hit pairs him with American singer Vanessa Hudgens performing it live on U.S. network NBC’s “Today Show” and on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance”.

“The Allan Slaight Honour recognizes young, inspirational Canadians who have achieved international success in the music industry.”

“Past recipients are Brett Kissel, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen, Melanie Fiona, Drake, and Nikki Yanofsky.”

Gord Downie Succumbs to Glioblastoma at 53

“The secret rules of engagement are hard to endorse when the appearance of conflict meets the appearance of force.” – The Tragically Hip: “Grace, Too”

Gord Downie, lead singer of alternative rock band The Tragically Hip, died Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 53.

Downie was born in Amherstview, Ontario and grew up due east in nearby Kingston. He met his bandmates in high school and played shows around town performing cover songs mainly. It was at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto where MCA Records president Bruce Dickinson saw the musicians and offered a record deal.

“I grew up listening to The Hip and I will grow old listening to The Hip.” – Lexi Strate

The Hip won 16 JUNO awards from 1990 to 2017 and scored three diamond albums (representing sales of one million copies each): Road Apples, Up to Here, and Fully Completely. Some of the group’s best-known songs are “Bobcaygeon,” “Ahead by a Century,” “Courage,” and “New Orleans is Sinking.”

“It was a privilege to witness Gord Downie’s creative genius, he was such a force in the Canadian music industry.” – Sarah McLachlan

On the side, Gord Downie began releasing solo works in 2001. He won a pair of JUNOs in 2017 for his Secret Path project exposing the horrors of residential schools. At its center was the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young Anishinaabe boy from the Marten Falls First Nation who died of freezing and starvation in 1966 while trying to return home after escaping from one such school.

Gord was known especially for his thoughtful poetry and energetic performances. He is survived by his four children.

“We will miss you. The legacy will continue.” – Tyler Shaw

This Canadian Music Video Just Hit One Billion Views

Earlier this year, Billboard magazine named Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call My Maybe” as best chorus of the 21st century. Recently, further honours were given the mega-hit; its music video surpassed one billion views on YouTube. Carly will be performing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra November 21 in the city known for racing cars. She will be touring with American pop superstar Katy Perry in 2018. Of the MV’s achievement, Carly says, “Today CMM video has hit over 1 billion views!!! This is crazy town. THANK YOU to all involved in making this baby spread.” In 2012, “Call Me Maybe” from the British Columbian sold 12 million copies around the world becoming the century’s best-selling single by a female artist.

New Releases Sep 1, 2017: Alexz Johnson, Jason Bajada, …

For those of you sad to see that we are suddenly in September, no worries, there is lots of good music coming out. First, a few bits of news…

Diamond certified Ontarian rocker Avril Lavigne is back in good spirits after her battle with enervating Lyme disease and is working feverishly on her sixth studio album. The seven-time JUNO award winner issued a statement thanking fans for their patience, explaining she wants the music to be perfect, and promising the album will be done “before you know it”.

Rapper Drake has donated 200 thousand dollars to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund in Houston.

The Biebs is playing catchup to Katy Perry. The latter became the first to surpass 100 million followers on Twitter; Justin Bieber has now achieved the milestone.

Skip Prokop, Hamilton drummer and co-founder of group Lighthouse has died at age 74. Skip saw success in early 60s group The Paupers which dissolved and left him as a studio musician for such A-listers as Carlos Santana; Janis Joplin; and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Prokop envisioned rock music backed by an orchestra and was assisted in realizing its creation through meeting jazz pianist and soundtrack composer Paul Hoffert. The two co-founded Lighthouse in 1968 adding guitarist Ralph Cole and drawing 10 other musicians from the jazz, rock, and classical fields. Lighthouse is best known for hits “One Fine Morning” (#30 of 1971), “Hats Off” (#88 of 1971), and “Pretty Lady” (#60 of 1973).

A torrent of new releases is set to come out September 8. This week, there are just a few to talk about.

Jean-Fernand Girard of Jonquière, QC contributes a fine instrumental jazz album entitled Jazz Waves. Perky, brisk, and alert, the album is set to add some sparkle to any atmosphere.

Jason Bajada is a wonder. The man has a handsome voice on him and is never short of ideas, as evidenced by the volume of music he is making. He follows up 2016’s excellent Volcano with Blondie & the Backstabberz, a 20-track singer-songwriter sequel to his 2008 album.

From Montreal, we swing over to the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam, hometown of multi-talent Alexz Johnson. A Stranger Time veers over to the singer-songwriter genre a little and is as engaging as one would expect from the expert songstress.

Fans of folk ought to be very impressed with Topaz, the new set from Toronto’s Shawn William Clarke: captivating poetry sung clearly with clever playing and nice writing.

More jazz as we head back to Canada’s capital of jazz—Montreal. Rachel Therrien Quintet presents the rollicking Why Don’t You Try, a blast for lovers of the genre.

This week’s pleasant surprise is the self-titled EP from Toronto’s Joseph of Mercury. This ace in the hole will have fans of alternative music done right dancing and drooling: theatrical vocal delivery, catchy beats, and some unexpected twists.

This Week’s Charts, A New Multiplatinum Artist, and Other News

Country superstar Dean Brody is now officially a multiplatinum recording artist, as his single “Bring Down the House” was recently certified double platinum by Music Canada. His “Bush Party” single has gone gold.

United States viewership of this year’s MTV Video Music Awards gala was down to 5.68 million from 6.5 million in 2016 and 9.8 million in 2015. The show featured performances by Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara, the latter taking home two trophies.

Scotiabank has figured out what to do with all the money it has accumulated from the service charges with which it nastily dings us. The bank paid 800 million dollars to ensure that Toronto’s 20,000 seat Air Canada Centre in 2018 becomes known as the Scotiabank Arena. The deal is for 20 years.

Victoria, BC’s Skye Holland is featured in this week’s Nielsen Canadian Music Update newsletter. Her new song “We Could Be” is bubbling under the Hot AC airplay chart and the Emerging Artists chart. As a featured artist, Skye’s vocals have been highly sought after by others in both the U.S. and Canada. Hear the song below.

Justin Bieber‘s collaboration in “Despacito” has kept it at the summit of the Hot 100 for 16 weeks now. Speculation is that the new Taylor Swift song will … shake it off … from the top spot next week. Bieber’s “Friends” with BloodPop skyrockets from #96 to #4.

For “Carnival Hearts”, Kayla Diamond is new on the Emerging Artists chart at #29.

 

When Friends Go, Witness the Emotion

What Justin Bieber and Grimes Have in Common

Due to scanty releases in the summer, we will be combining this week’s with next week’s in our new releases posting. It is worth mentioning at this point that the new #1 at iTunes is “Friends”, the latest single from Justin Bieber. Again, it is a collaboration for Mr. What Do You Mean. This time around, it is BloodPop, alias of Michael Tucker (from Dorothy’s Kansas). He used to record under the moniker Blood Diamonds you may remember from such choice cuts as Grimes‘ “Go”. The new Bieber track is reminiscent of Robyn.

What Carly Rae Jepsen and Katy Perry Have in Common

Billboard recently reported on the dearth of women atop the U.S. Hot 100. On the Canadian one, Sia was the last female as the main artist to champion the chart, which she did August 20, 2016 with “Cheap Thrills”. So, it has been a year. Even Katy Perry is having a hard time these days despite having more Twitter followers than anyone else in the world, the only one to have more than 100 million followers. Katy Perry will be on tour promoting her latest album, Witness. What does this have to do with Canadian music? Well, you’ll never guess who will be joining her in concert. Noah Cyrus will join her first as things kick off in Montreal September 19 and remaining onboard through to the Toronto concerts ending November 1. Then cometh Purity Ring. No way! Yes way. Edmonton’s Purity Ring will join Ms. Roar in Los Angeles November 7 through to the end of the year December 20 in Miami. In the new year, launching in New Orleans January 5 and marching through to Vancouver February 5, Katy Perry will be joined by Carly Rae Jepsen.

This Week’s Charts: Sky Stays This Blue

The sky has returned to blue over Vancouver after a smoky haze from the BC wildfires drained it of colour. The city, an international hub of filmmaking, witnessed a casualty as stuntman Joi Harris was killed during shooting of the film Deadpool 2 starring Ryan Reynolds. She apparently lost control of the bike and crashed into the ground-floor glass window of an office building. It serves as a reminder how dangerous the profession can be and how much we need to appreciate the work of these fine people behind the scenes.

In the city for motion picture project Richard Says Goodbye, Johnny Depp brought smiles to the faces of children and youth and the BC Children’s Hospital on Monday. He dressed up in full costume as his character Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series and spent five hours visiting every child in the hospital. He took his time with each one, never rushing. He didn’t take a break. He not once broke character. He gave hugs, spoke words of encouragement (“be brave”, “keep going”, etc.), played with children in diapers on the floor, and even participated in some foam sword duelling. Hospital staff were astonished by his humanity.

Let’s hope the sky stays this blue.

So far in 2017, we haven’t seen a massive hit by a Canadian as the main artist. There has been no “Call Me Maybe”, “Blurred Lines”, “Rude”, “Can’t Feel My Face”, “Sorry”, “Love Yourself”, or “One Dance”. The good news is, we still have four months to go. As far as a Canadian as a featured artist, the honours belong to Justin Bieber.

In the words of Nielsen Music’s Paul Tuch, “’Despacito’ (Universal) remains at the top the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 for the 14th week, continuing to set the pace on both the Streaming and Digital Songs charts. It sets the record for the most weeks at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart at 16, surpassing Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ and Black Eyed Peas ‘I Gotta Feeling’. At 14 weeks at No. 1 Streaming, it now has the second highest weekly run at the top of that chart, only trailing the 16 weeks that Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ spent at No. 1.”

The big chart news this week is that British Columbia’s Dallas Smith scores his latest number one single, “Sky Stays This Blue”. Nielsen’s Paul Tuch states, “He becomes the first Canadian male artist to have four Country number one songs in the Nielsen BDS era and the first Canadian male artist to have three Country chart-toppers from the same album, following ‘Autograph’ and ‘Side Effects’. With over 1400 detects this week, it is the highest one week spin total to date by a Canadian Country artist at the format.”

I hope your sky stays this blue
Hope your heart stays this red
Hope your road stays this golden
Your sun never sets

Early August 2017 Releases and Other News

New releases have trickled in the past couple of weeks. We summarize them in the table below. The highest profile releases are probably Calgarian country star Lindsay Ell’s and BC rapper SonReal’s. Winnipeg’s Slow Leaves (i.e. Grant Davidson) is getting ample press with his folky album.

Some nifty singles have come out as well. There is one in particular we wish to highlight because it’s so good. When you’re from Calgary, country music is in your blood, and few do it better than Bobby Wills. His new single “In Comes the Night” heralds a mini album of the same name set for a September 8 release.

Speaking of country music, it was announced earlier today that Shania Twain will headline the 2017 Grey Cup (Canadian football championship) half-time show November 26 in Ottawa. Organizers have not gone with a Canadian act since 2013 (Hedley). Shania performed at the event in 2002, Edmonton.

Shania’s new album Now is out September 29. Her last album Up! Came out in 2002. Many new Canadian country artists have emerged since then, and we do wonder if she has had a chance to listen to them and if there is anything that impresses her … much.

A slew of international singers will be flying into Vancouver for the culturally rich Albatross Music Festival September 14-15 at the Hastings Racecourse. Canadians will be participating as well. Booked are Canadian Hot 100 charting JUNO nominee Elise Estrada, Nettwerk Productions’ Wanting (Qu), The United States’ Far East Movement, Mongolian traditional music group Nair Band, and South Korean superstar Tae-yeon (Girls’ Generation). We love to see events like this happening. More please!

TITLE ARTIST RELEASE STYLE ORIGIN
The Album Johnson Crook Aug-04 Country Toronto
Infinite Punishment Get the Shot Aug-04 Metal Quebec City
Small World Def3 Aug-04 Rap Regina
Hamtramck ’16 (EP) Moon King Aug-04 Pop Toronto
Liquid Unbuttoned Aug-08 Alternative Toronto
Enough About Me Slow Leaves Aug-11 Folk Winnipeg
Go Getters Jon Cohen Experimental Aug-11 Alternative Montreal
One Long Dream SonReal Aug-11 Rap Vernon, BC
The Project Lindsay Ell Aug-11 Country Calgary
One Lands (EP) Ghost Love Aug-11 Alternative Montreal

Universal Music Canada Takes the Heat for Franco Exclusion

Canada’s largest record label Universal Music recently came under fire for its exclusion of French-language music in its Canada 150 compilation and has issued an apology as follows.

Unsurprisingly, the CBC, in an attempt to soften the seriousness of the omission, mentioned the complaints coming from Quebec only. In fact, they came from Anglophones outside of Quebec as well. Count us among them.

We would go beyond the status quo of shallow standards to say that any playlist, compilation, or “best of” Canadian music list that excludes Franco works is anti-Canadian. And, no, we do not believe that this is too strong a statement. Francophones make up 22% of our population and create some of the best music not only in Canada but the world at large. Beyond being mindful when compiling music lists, national events like the JUNO awards must include a French-language performance at its main televised gala, as well the Grey Cup half-time show. Both Anglo and Franco songs ought to be played in arenas and during breaks in play of hockey games at home. A couple of Franco songs must grace the playlists of all English-language conducted radio stations and be included in Canadian television and movie soundtracks regardless of the language of dialogue. We must adopt a zero-tolerance policy to those who make Francophobic comments. We cannot refer to Anglophone artists as “Canadian artists” while calling Francophone artists from Quebec as “Quebec artists”. We either call all Canadian or specify the provincial or local origin of each. We cannot move forward as a country that claims to espouse federalism with francophobia intact.

Stars Shine Beneath Parliament Fireworks at Canada 150

Quite possibly the year’s most Canadian concert went down on Parliament Hill in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday July 1, 2017. A big crowd gathered on Parliament Hill to see their favourite recording artists perform. Knowing that not all around the world were able to see it, we took some screen captures and present them below.

Above, Walk Off the Earth kicks things off. Below, Louis-Jean Cormier performs beneath the lights.

Serena Ryder kills it (below).

Serena then joins Marie-Mai and Lisa LeBlanc to pay tribute to Gordon Lightfoot covering a couple of his songs.

Gordon Lightfoot himself then mounts the stage. Gord performed on Parliament Hill for Canada’s 100th birthday 50 years ago as well.

The incomparable Lisa LeBlanc does what she does best.

Kinnie Starr wears a tuque in July. What can be more Canadian than that?

Beautiful performance by Kelly Bado.

Kinnie Starr, Louis-Jean Cormier, and Kelly Bado perform together.

Wide shot of the proceedings:

A party wouldn’t be the same without Cirque du Soleil!

Country star Dean Brody sings “Canadian Girls”.

Marie-Mai may be wearing a #10, but she’s #1 with us.

Innovative artist Mike Tompkins turns up the wow factor.

Alessia Cara pumps up the crowd with “Scars to Your Beautiful”.

Back to the Future in Canada 150.

The all-star lineup performs Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by a Century” to close out the show.

Fireworks begin…

Carly Rae Jepsen Gets Backed by the TSO

Canadian multiplatinum, multiple JUNO Award winning pop superstar Carly Rae Jepsen performed Saturday night, June 17, 2017 in concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She managed to make the evening so much fun that she brought the sold-out crowd at the Roy Thomson Hall to its feet. Wearing a floor-length black and sparkly gold dress, she opened the night with “Run Away with Me” and capped things off with “Call Me Maybe”. The crowd demanded an encore, and she let loose on “I Really Like You”. Youthful conductor Lucas Waldin charmed the audience of young men and women and families. Some of the parents commented that their children were learning orchestral instruments and were also fans of Carly, so her performing with the symphony was very encouraging in their pursuit of music.

SET LIST:
Run Away with Me
Making the Most of the Night
Gimmie Love
Emotion
Your Type
Tug of War
When I Needed You
Boy Problems
All That
Let’s Get Lost
Call Me Maybe
I Really Like You (Encore)

The concert was part of a series of projects across the country to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation and was also the 10th anniversary of Jepsen’s appearance on Canadian Idol. Her success on the program helped launch a career in music which began with 2008 album Tug of War which spawned two gold singles. This in turn helped her secure a record deal with Chad Kroeger’s (Nickelback) 604 Records. She released song “Call Me Maybe” and EP Curiosity. The former was the best-selling song in the world for 2012, and title-track “Curiosity” went gold. LP Kiss followed which went gold and won the JUNO for Album of the Year. It spawned the #1 hit “Good Time”, a collaboration with Owl City. Carly’s third album Emotion was critically acclaimed and short listed for the Polaris Prize. Among its tracks was gold-certified single “I Really Like You” the music video of which featured Hollywood A-list actor Tom Hanks.

Carly Rae Jepsen is regarded by many of her fellow recording artists, both men and women, as one of the finest at her craft in the world including her fans Justin Bieber, Lorde, John Mayer, and Katy Perry. Her latest single “Cut to the Feeling” was named by Billboard Magazine as one of the 50 best songs of 2017 so far. Billboard also named “Call Me Maybe” as having the #1 best chorus of the 21st Century.

A busy weekend for Carly, once done with the concert Saturday night, she headed on over to attend the Much Music Video Awards on Sunday as a presenter.

Parliament Hill Concert Vs. CanCon-Deprived MMVAs

Canadian artists are topping the charts and selling out arenas all over the world, but in the minds of the organizers of Canadian events, they are not good enough to perform. For the past three years, foreign acts have headlined the Grey Cup half-time show. Moreover, we predicted when Robert Pittman’s iHeartRadio became involved with the Much Music Video Awards (MMVAs), that it would lead to a death of CanCon, and as we see in the performance lineup for the 2017 MMVAs, that is exactly what has happened. It is bad enough to allow Francophobia to exclude Francophone artists from performing at such nation-wide events, but to shut out Canadian artists as a whole can only mean that a 150-year-old country has no confidence in itself.

To the rescue comes an all-Canadian lineup, as it should be and as it has always been, for the Canada Day concert on Parliament Hill. To celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday, concerts across the land will take place. At the Canadian Museum of History July 1 at 6:30 p.m. local time, find the Souljazz Orchestra and at 9 p.m. The Lost Fingers. Major’s Hill Park’s players are Ruth B at 6:30 p.m., Jonathan Painchaud 7:15, Laurence Nerbonne 7:30, Moon Vs Sun featuring Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and Chantal Kreviazuk 8:30, and Mother Mother 9:30.

The flagship concert will take place on Parliament Hill at 8:30 p.m. Ottawa time, and here is the impressive lineup:

Alessia Cara
Cirque du Soleil
Dean Brody
Gordon Lightfoot
Kelly Bado
Kinnie Star
Lisa Leblanc
Louis-Jean Cormier
Marie-Mai
Mike Tompkins
Serena Ryder
Walk Off the Earth

We can only hear organizers of other events justifying their lack of CanCon by pointing out the full-slate of maple stars at the Canada Day concert. It’s very sad.