Canada Now World’s 6th Largest Recorded Music Market

For many years, Canada sat in 7th place among the word’s recorded music markets. Though housing a significantly lower population, Australia stayed ahead of the maple leaf, as the average Aussie spent more money on music than the average Canuck. In the IFPI’s Global Music Report 2017, it is revealed that Canada has now surpassed its Commonwealth sister nation to take sixth place. Considering there are roughly 200 countries in the world, it is a very significant achievement. The United States remains in first place followed by Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

The IFPI (International Federation for the Phonographic Industry) also reports that Canada’s own Drake was the #1 best-selling artist in the world for 2016. Justin Bieber was 5th, and The Weeknd 10th. Drake’s album Views was the 3rd biggest seller of the year. As far as singles go, “One Dance” by Drake was #1, “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber #2, and “Sorry” by Bieber #5.

This Week’s Charts and More News

The Charts

Not a whole bunch to report on this week’s charts. The La Voix 5 album has debuted on the Albums chart at #7. The remix of Allophone song “Despicito” which features Justin Bieber is on the Hot 100 at #18. It is the Biebs’ 44th song in the Top 40 of the chart whether as the main, co-credited, or featured artist.

Tragically Hip Scores Third Diamond Album

Music Canada’s latest batch of gold/platinum certifications includes a diamond (i.e. ten times platinum) award for The Tragically Hip album Road Apples, the group’s sophomore effort released in 1991. The award represents 1 million units shipped in Canada. The Hip has received diamond certification in the past for two other albums – Up to Here, the debut LP and Fully Completely, the band’s third.

Carly Rae Returns to Number One

Billboard recently generated a list of the Top 100 greatest choruses of the 21st century, and Carly Rae Jepsen is at #1 for “Call Me Maybe”. Celine Dion’s “That’s the Way It is” was ranked 80th. Avril Lavigne had two in the list: “Girlfriend” at #62 and “Sk8er Boi” at #22.  Justin Bieber’s “Baby” was 55th. Of the chorus of the century, Billboard says Carly “delivers it with expert over-excited anxiousness, as if darting between the raindrops of the string stabs. … All in all, the best part of the ‘Call Me Maybe’ chorus was how it ended up summarizing our own feelings about the song — the giddiness, the awkward excitement, and the feeling of how we never knew how much we needed a song like it in our lives until it showed up.”

Carly will be performing her hits with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Roy Thomson Hall June 17. The one-time concert will be in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday since Confederation.

Kroeger Explains Nickelback’s “Feed the Machine”

In a recent interview, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger explained the meaning of new song “Feed the Machine”, lead single and title-track of the post-grunge group’s upcoming album.

I know that a lot of people are going to think, especially with the climate right now in the US, that we are, you know, jumping on this political bandwagon. And everybody is weighing in on this thing, and there is, I mean, the division between right and left could not be further these days and everybody is just at each other’s throats over this thing. And it really had nothing to do with that. Because we started writing this song so long ago that your current president wasn’t even in the picture. So we need to spell that rumor right off the bat. Although, it lends itself well, very well. It really does to that thing, but it’s not because we want it to be this general metaphor for a lot of different things. Any time people follow something blindly, and there’s a reference to the piper blowing his flute that leads the mice kind of thing, and just away they go. There’s just so many of these things that people need to question. … There’s a thousand of these things that people just fall in line and all of those things are big machines. It’s also government, it’s also religion, it’s all of those things. The people just follow blindly just kinda asking questions, good questions. So it’s literally just that: it’s the conversation starter of “yeah, why do we do this? And why do we do that? Why do I smoke this and think it’s okay? Why do I eat that and think it’s all right? And why do I drive that and think it’s all right that it comes out of the ground and nothing’s gonna happen to the earth?” It’s all of those things ‘cause those are all machines that need consumers to feed them. And that’s really where we were coming from. We didn’t want it to be specific to anyone’s thing, so it left itself open to all of those topics.

BreakOut West: WCMA Nominations

BreakOut West has announced the nominees for the 2017 Western Canadian Music Awards and Industry Awards. Winners will be announced and honoured at the Western Canadian Music Awards Networking Reception and Industry Awards Brunch, during events running from September 13-17, 2017. The 15th annual BreakOut West will take place in Edmonton. You can view a list of the nominations here.

Buffy and Tagaq Collaborate on “You Got to Run”

Two of our highest profile indigenous artists collaborate on song “You Got to Run”. Both have won JUNO Awards and both the Polaris Prize. Of course, we’re talking about Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq. Buffy was born on the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley of Saskatchewan. Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq is from Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuutiaq), Nunavut, situated on the south coast of Victoria Island. We leave you with the music video below.

The Voice/La Voix Gears Up for Semi-Finals, Safia Nolin to Guest!

The Voice/La Voix has pared the contestants down to two in each of the four teams, as the lucky eight head to the semi-finals next Sunday. Guesting on the show will be ADISQ Felix Award new artist of the year winner Safia Nolin. The semi-finalists are as follows with photos of the lovelies below.

TEAM PIERRE
David Marino, 18, Montréal, QC
Sam Tucker, 25, Gaspé, QC

TEAM ÉRIC
Ludovick Bourgeois, 24, Lorraine, QC
Désirée, 21, Rosemère, QC

TEAM ISABELLE
Frank Williams, 32, Moncton, NB
Louis-Paul Gauvreau, 28, Saint-Basile-le-Grand, QC

TEAM MARC
Rebecca Noelle, 32, Ottawa, ON
Michaël, 37, Boucherville, QC

LIGHTS’ 4th Album Roll Out to Involve Comic Books

Grade 7. The teacher explains that the Earth’s crust is so thin compared to the rest of the globe, it’s like the skin on the top of hot chocolate. One student interjects, “What’s hot chocolate got to do with this?” and then busts out laughing. Fast forwarding to 2017, gold recording artist and multiple JUNO winner, LIGHTS, presents a new project: Skin & Earth. She is creating a comic book series. The first issue is due out in July with six issues in total. At the center of it is character En, a reincarnation, as LIGHTS says, of herself “in another dimension”. The synthpop specialist will be releasing music in conjunction with each issue which will lead up to the album drop, her fourth studio work. Lyrics of the songs will be connected to dialogue in the comics. The magazines will be available from local comic shops or you can order them from LIGHTS’ website. We have embedded the promo clip below.

3 Canadians Break into iTunes Top 10 with New Songs

If a member of generation x out of touch with current music took a look at the iTunes Top 10 right now, he might get excited declaring that there is a brand new song by The Cure called “Lady Gaga”. The big news last week was the battle of Britain in which Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times” attempted to unseat fellow Englishman Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”. Now we have fellow Canucks placing new songs in the elite deck. Shawn Mendes has released a deluxe version of his 2016 album Illuminate. New track “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” is selling like hotcakes. Justin Bieber is still hot since album Purpose and his collaborations with the crafters of EDM. His latest venture is as a featured vocalist in “Despacito”. It is a remix of a song from Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee. And, no Despacito was not recorded in Canada’s other official language. It’s a Spanish language song. Fonsi and Yankee are from Puerto Rico. So, how are the new tracks doing? Well Shawn Mendes is as of this writing at #8 and the Biebs is #1. But if your eyes don’t deceive you, there’s something else going on around here. The Weeknd? Yes. He is featured in a brand new song by Lana Del Rey called “Lust For Life” and it’s at #6. “Stay” by Alessia Cara and Zedd is holding at #10.

La Voix/The Voice Season 5 at 4×4

Season 5 is well underway in the Canadian rendition of The Voice/La Voix. The show is filmed in Montreal and broadcast on the TVA network. Winners of previous seasons are as below.

Season 1: Valérie Carpentier
Season 2: Yoan Garneau
Season 3: Kevin Bazinet
Season 4: Stéphanie St-Jean

Valerie scored a gold album in 2014. Country artist Yoan released a bilingual album which featured superstar Brett Kissel, and it achieved platinum sales. Kevin Bazinet is the younger brother of platinum soul singer Bobby Bazini.

The final episode of Season 4, which named Stéphanie St-Jean champion featured performances from American group DNCE (“Cake by the Ocean”) and JUNO award winner Alessia Cara.

Season 5’s judges are Pierre Lapointe, Éric Lapointe, Isabelle Boulay, and Marc Dupré. Each team began with 10-14 vocalists, and as things are now, those have been whittled down to four. For now, we’ll list the names of the contenders plus their hometowns. The 16 contestants are from three provinces.

We’ll keep you all posted on how things go…

Team Pierre
Hanorah (Montréal, QC)
David Marino (Montréal, QC)
Zaya Solange (Montréal, QC)
Sam Tucker (Gaspé, QC)

Team Éric
Cindy Daniel (Mirabel, QC)
Jean-Seb Carré (Bellechasse, QC)
Désirée (Rosemère, QC)
Ludovick Bourgeois (Lorraine, QC)

Team Isabelle
Amos J. (Lac-Brome, QC)
Willis Pride (Saint-Pascal-Baylon, ON)
Frank Williams (Moncton, NB)
Louis-Paul Gauvreau (Saint-Basile-le-Grand, QC)

Team Marc
Rebecca Noelle (Ottawa, ON)
Michaël (Boucherville, QC)
Maxime Desrosiers (Chicoutimi, QC)
Margau (Saint-Jérôme, QC)

Headlines and Footdots: March 1, 2017

2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Irving Azoff - Arrivals

This Week’s Charts

There is not much to report from this week’s Canadian charts. There are no new Canadian artist entries on the Hot 100 and no new albums in the Top 10. On the country airplay chart, Dean Brody’s “Time” is up to #2 just behind “Better Man” by Little Big Town. Jess Moskaluke’s new single “Drive Me Away” debuts at #41.

Avril Lavigne Taps BMG for 6th Album Release

Pop-rock superstar Avril Lavigne has joined forces with BMG for release of her sixth studio album due out by the end of the year according to an article by Billboard Magazine. Avril’s first album Let Go, released under Arista in 2002, is the last Canadian artist album to be certified at 1 million units. Arista gave way to RCA through which she launched Under My Skin, The Best Damn Thing, and Goodbye Lullaby. Dissatisfaction with the latter’s release led to her migrating to Epic Records for release of her self-titled work in 2013. The music on that album was excellent but promotion seemed to misfire. Single “Here’s to Never Growing Up” was certified platinum in sales but received lukewarm response from radio which is odd. Sometimes a change in record label can help forces consolidate. All the aforementioned labels are under the Sony umbrella.

Bend It Like The Weeknd

The Weeknd is filling David Beckham’s shoes to model outfits sold by Sweden’s international apparel retailer H&M. “Spring Icons Selected by The Weeknd” debuts online and in stores March 2. The retailer’s promo statement is that the 25-article collection, inspired by scenes on the streets of Los Angeles, “blends utility and street wear silhouettes.” The Weeknd should attract more money into the pockets of the company’s chairman Stefan Persson who, with an estimated net worth of $24 billion, is the richest man in Sweden and 17th in the world.

Sunrise Eyes on the Prize

As many of you have heard by now, Ontario record retail chain Sunrise Records is intent on expanding its services nationwide. The recent declaration of shutting down operations by HMV has afforded it the convenience of occupying the empty units in the malls currently let to the folding retailer. The plan is to move into 70 of the 102 spaces across the country. For those of you in Metro Vancouver, Sunrise will take over the HMV space at Metrotown in Burnaby. Edmontonians can expect to see its logo in the bi-level store in West Edmonton Mall. Winnipeggers will find them in Polo Park, Hamiltonians at Limeridge Mall, and Mississaugans at Square One. Sunrise promises to have a wide selection of CDs, 50% higher than at HMV.

Coleman as Hot as Hell

Thunder Bay, ON’s champion of fun Coleman Hell has done something few have been able to. His “2 Heads” has become only the 16th Canadian artist single in history to reach quadruple platinum sales. The threshold is currently at 320,000 units (digital downloads, physical sales, streaming at 150:1). The song began its 43-week Hot 100 chart run July 1, 2015 and reached a peak position of #15 on November 9. Coleman is currently signed to 604 Records in Vancouver. “2 Heads” was his first official single. His current offering is “Devotion”. We leave you with its music video embedded below.

Drake: First Canadian to Score Diamond Single, Tops IFPI’s Global Best-Sellers

cn-tower

Big news for country star Tim Hicks, as he lands his first platinum certified single, that being “Get By”. Tim grew up in Niagara Falls, ON. His provincial companion, Toronto rapper Drake, has become the first Canadian artist in history to score a diamond single. The gold/platinum program at Music Canada has awarded “One Dance” diamond certification which is equivalent to 10x platinum or 800,000 units. The units are determined by the sale of digital downloads and streaming at the rate of 150 streams equivalent to 1 unit. “One Dance” is not an original composition but a reworking of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz and Kyla. Previously, the UK’s Mark Ronson scored a diamond single via “Uptown Funk”. The Black Eyed Peas of the United States received digital download only diamond certification for “I Gotta Feeling”. Other certifications have come in for Drake as well. “Too Good” now stands at quadruple platinum and “Controlla” at double platinum. His album Views has been upgraded to double platinum status.

Drake leads the world according to the recently released IFPI annual report for 2016. The international trade organization has handed him the IFPI 2016 Global Artist of the Year Award, which recognizes a recording artist’s worldwide success across physical and digital formats, including downloads and steams. The award has been presented annually since 2013, and Drake is the first Canadian to receive it. The Top 10 of 2016, which include three Canadians, are as follows:

1. Drake
2. David Bowie
3. Coldplay
4. Adele
5 .Justin Bieber
6. Twenty One Pilots
7. Beyoncé
8. Rihanna
9. Prince
10. The Weeknd

Note that only some countries around the globe keep data on music consumption which may help explain why all top 10 artists are Anglophone.

Sarah McLachlan to Be Inducted into the Music Hall of Fame

Sarah McLachlan In Concert - Atlanta, GA

She’s done pop, new wave, adult contemporary, and alternative music. She had the biggest song of the year 1997. She’s a diamond recording artist, as one of her many multiplatinum albums hit the 10x mark for selling a million copies in Canada. She’s sold 30 million records worldwide. She’s won 10 JUNOs and 3 Grammy Awards. She debuted in 1988. In 1997, she created music festival Lilith Fair to showcase and support female recording artists. In 2003, she founded a school of music in Vancouver which offers free music education to at-risk children and youth. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada. And now, announced by CARAS and the JUNO Awards, Halifax’s Sarah McLachlan is to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Sarah!

Carly Rae Jepsen Opens NHL All-Star Game

crj-nhl1

Wearing lucky number 8, Carly Rae Jepsen opened the 2017 NHL All-Star Tournament by singing “O Canada”. Sporting a new blonde do, the singer was introduced in Los Angeles, USA with the words “And now, to sing the Canadian national anthem, please welcome multiplatinum, Grammy and JUNO nominated singer and songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen.” More accurately, Carly is multiplatinum in Canada but now diamond in the States. She is Grammy nominated but JUNO winning (she has three trophies).

The tournament itself was naturally not as exciting as seeing and hearing Carly perform. But to recap things… Players representing the four NHL divisions played in two semi-final games. Pacific beat Central 10-3 and Metropolitan beat Atlantic 10-6. The winners of those two games—Pacific and Metropolitan—played in the final championship game with Metropolitan winning 4-3. The Metro players will split a $1 million prize.

Fifth Harmony was scheduled to sing the U.S. anthem. Yes, it’s called a national hockey league but is actually continental. With one of the four remaining members having taken ill, however, the Fifth pulled out, lest they were only a Third, and the US anthem was handled by Courtney Daniels. American pop singer Nick Jonas performed a medley at the intermission preceding the championship game. It was so hot they said, the ice began to melt.

carly-nhl

Justin Bieber Takes Team Gretzky to Victory

bieber-all-star

Playing against Team Lemieux in the 2017 NHL All-Star Celebrity hockey game, Justin Bieber got to tap one of his many talents Saturday, as he laced up a pair of skates and took Team Gretzky to victory. Playing against some hockey heavyweights, he managed a goal and an assist in the 5-3 result at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, USA. The Biebs was stopped on two penalty shots by former NHL goalie Jamie Storr but with only 3 seconds remaining managed to break through and score an empty netter. Cuba Gooding Jr. tried to coax coach Wayne Gretzky into crediting him with the game-winning goal. Team Lemieux’s assistant coach Alyssa Milano attempted to fuel enthusiasm, but the roster proved no match for Team Gretzky, as no ice hockey defenceman could resist Bieber’s charms.

The players wore a patch on the right front shoulder honoring Canadian actor and passionate hockey fan Alan Thicke (AT in a maple leaf), who passed away on December 13. The All-Star Celebrity Shootout benefitted nonprofit organization Echoes of Hope, founded by Luc Robitaille and his wife Stacia, which strives to inspire at-risk foster youth.

Justin Bieber of Stratford, Ontario became an international teen sensation in 2009 and since then has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide. At home, all studio albums have hit #1 and achieved multiplatinum status. Among Justin’s mound of awards are 7 JUNOs, 2 BRITs, and a Grammy.

HMV Canada Closing All 102 Stores by April 30

hmv

A grave next to A&B Sound, Sam the Record Man, and other record chains is now being dug for HMV Canada. The courts have approved an application to place Canada’s biggest record store chain, HMV Canada Inc., into receivership. The application was filed by HUK 10 Ltd. which lent money to the struggling chain and now says HMV owes it almost $39 million with no payments received since November 2014.

In order to stay afloat, HMV would need 2 to 5 million dollars annually. As it stands now, the company is losing $100,000 per day, as customers have turned away from compact discs to digital purchases in a retail climate where convenience trumps sound quality. Moreover, streaming services have managed to trick many into believing that access is favourable to ownership. Trips to the record shops have also possibly been hurt from online mail-delivery ordering services like Amazon.

Legal documents state that HMV shops must cease operations by April 30. There are currently 102 stores across Canada which employ about 1,340 people. All are now to be closed. Most of the company’s head office staff have already been laid off, and HMV owes its major suppliers, including music labels, a reported $56 million.

For many music fans and movie enthusiasts, the closure will mean the disappearance of all shops of its kind in their cities, leaving them without a single retail outlet with a good selection of CDs and DVDs. With less and less CDs being readily available, the closure of the chain will undoubtedly deal a severe blow to overall record sales. Some may feel that HMV’s demise will benefit independent shops, but these are disappearing as well.

This is a very, very sad day.

Headlines and Footdots: January 23, 2017

mackenzie-porter1a

January 29 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles is the time and place of the 62nd annual all-star game of the National Hockey League. The event starts 12:30 p.m. pacific time. The Canadian national anthem will be performed by Carly Rae Jepsen. Her American sisters Fifth (now down to four) Harmony will handle the U.S. anthem. Nick Jonas will perform during the game’s second intermission. During the weekend’s festivities, Robin Thicke will honour his Canadian father Alan Thicke who passed away recently.

The February 4th Saturday Night Live show will be hosted by Hollywood actress Kristen Stewart (Panic Room, Into The Wild, Twilight) and the musical guest will be Alessia Cara who responded to the announcement by saying, “my head is spinning”.

Disney adapted Beauty and the Beast into an animated feature film in 1991, and Céline Dion teamed up with Peabo Bryson to sing its theme song. It was included on her second Anglo album (self-titled) in 1992 and won the Single of the Year JUNO award in 1993. Fast-forwarding to the present, 2017, Disney has decided to give the film a live action treatment, and Céline has been recruited to contribute a new song on the soundtrack which will be titled “How Does a Moment Last Forever”.

Music industry veteran Randy Lennox has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award which has been given out annually since 1984. The award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the development of the Canadian music industry. Randy was president and CEO of the country’s biggest record label, Universal Music Canada. In his role, he helped launch the careers of such artists as Hedley, Shawn Mendes, Drake, Justin Bieber, Shania Twain, The Tragically Hip, and The Weeknd. Lennox is now president of content and broadcasting at Bell Media. In such a role, he acts as a key contributor to the production work of CTV, the JUNO Awards, the MMVAs, and Canada’s Walk of Fame. He also sits on the board of governors for Massey Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, and the culture advisory board for Ontario. Randy co-produced 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games anthem “I Believe” as well as charity single “Wavin’ Flag” which raised over $2 million for disaster relief in Haiti.

jb-eckl-everywhere-at-onceIt has taken awhile but now Saskatoon singer, songwriter, and guitarist JB Eckl will be releasing his formal debut album, Everywhere at Once. In the 1990s, JB hooked up with Latin pop producer KC Porter in Los Angeles and went on tour as a supporting guitarist with 70s funk band War. He contributed to Carlos Santana’s blockbuster 1999 album Supernatural and 2002’s Shaman. He also worked with Santana on the soundtrack for film Girlfight. Recently, JB co-wrote the theme song of Sully starring Tom Hanks. JB’s solo album Everywhere at Once is scheduled for release on February 20. Of the album he says, “It represents the exact opposite of our current media circus: an album of deeply personal songs crafted over a long period of time, an inner soundtrack for the soul as we struggle to become our higher selves. It’s organic, it’s a little electronic, it’s full of textures, tones, guitars and grooves…”

It has been a while since we’ve heard new music from Kristina Maria. She announced today that she is offering a private listening session of her upcoming new songs in Montreal, February 12 from 2-5 p.m. The presentation will be followed by a meet and greet.

Country star MacKenzie Porter has been busy with acting duties in TV series Travellers. But somehow, she has found time to make new music. Today, she announced she is cutting a new record. The Port’s debut album appeared in 2014. She has scored four Top 40 hits on the country charts to date.

Finally, Coeur de Pirate has released a new, fantasy-themed music video for track “Undone” off her acclaimed album Roses which we embed below.

Headlines and Footdots for January 19, 2017

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A slew of new albums will be out tonight. EDM fans can, in the meantime, enjoy the triple album of club bangers, Let’s Live, by Miss Tara which is out now. Other tidbits and newsy items include the following.

Alanis Morissette‘s former manager has admitted to stealing over 5 million dollars from her and more than a million dollars from other celebs. By pleading guilty to the charges, he expects to serve less jail time.

The People’s Choice Awards recently took place. Interestingly, no Canadians won in the music categories, but a few won in acting. Ryan Reynolds, the Vancouverite who chooses to speak with a Chicago accent, was chosen Favourite Movie Actor. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was picked Favourite Premium Series Actor. Toronto’s Lilly Singh was selected Favourite YouTube Star.

hot-girl-band

Commonwealth sisters Carly Rae Jepsen, Lorde, and Charli XCX recently circulated this photo on Twitter facetiously expressing a yearning to form a “hot girl band”. Charli XCX plans to release a new album in May, Lorde sometime this year, and Carly is working on new music as well.

Michael Bublé has pulled out from hosting the BRIT Awards to take care of his child diagnosed with cancer. It is unknown at this point whether he will host the JUNOs. Nominations for the JUNO Awards will be announced February 7.

Music Canada’s Gold and Platinum Awards Program recently certified Coleman Hell‘s “Fireproof” a platinum single. The Weeknd‘s Starboy album has been upgraded to platinum. Country star Tebey can holster a gold single thanks to “Wake Me Up”.

Danielle Marie is a relatively new country artist from White Rock, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. Her 2015 album Here Right Now was well received. Danielle has collaborated with Scotty “Chops” Cooke, known for his work with Florida Georgia Line, Dallas Smith, and Cold Creek County. Danielle has opened for or shared festivals with the likes of George Canyon, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Dallas Smith, and High Valley. She is generating buzz with her new single “I Wanna Go There” which sounds just great. We have embedded a video of Marie talking about her new single below.

Buffy Sainte-Marie to Receive 2017 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award

Full page fax print

CARAS, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, has announced the 2017 recipient of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, and her name is … Buffy Sainte-Marie. The award, which will be presented in conjunction with the JUNO Awards in Ottawa this year, “recognizes an outstanding Canadian artist whose humanitarian contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada and/or whose impact can be felt worldwide.” It is named after the founder of the CHUM broadcast network, most notably Toronto radio station 1050 CHUM which launched in 1954. Waters committed the network to community and public service initiatives. The Allan Waters Humanitarian Award has been given out annually since 2006. Past winners in chronological order are Bruce Cockburn, Tom Jackson, Paul Brandt, Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Neil Young, Simple Plan, Tom Cochrane, Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, Rush, Arcade Fire, and now Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Buffy has had a long and successful career spanning half a century. She was chosen as a recipient this year, as it was felt she “exemplifies the essence of humanitarianism through her dedication to protecting indigenous communities and indigenous intellectual property, which have been at the epicentre of her lifelong activism”. Sainte-Marie was born on the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan. In 1964, she became well-known for anti-war peace anthem “Universal Soldier,” which has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1969, she founded The Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education. Her 1976 hit song “Starwalker”, which she dedicated to the American Indigenous Movement marked the first time Aboriginal and pop music were combined, and with Sainte-Marie dubbing it ‘powwow rock’ she created a new genre. She was a regular on children’s television series Sesame Street from 1975 to 1980. At the Bahá’í World Congress in New York 1992, Buffy appeared in the musical event prelude.

Her list of awards is impressive. As noted by CARAS, in addition to an Academy Award (Best Original Song) for “Up Where We Belong,” “Sainte-Marie is also the recipient of four JUNO Awards, a Golden Globe, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, a BAFTA Award, multiple Queen’s Jubilee Medals and Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. She carries the Order of Canada and has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.” Her songs have been covered by a slew of A-listers including Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Céline Dion, Cher and Indigo Girls.

Sainte-Marie’s most recent album Power in the Blood (2015) won 2016 JUNO Awards for Aboriginal Album of the Year and Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. It also took the Polaris Music Prize.