Bryan Adams, Jann Arden to Join The Launch Season 2

Personnel behind CTV’s The Launch recently announced new additions to its lineup of Season 2 mentors. Joining already announced Sarah McLachlan, Marie-Mai, Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic), and Max Kerman (Arkells) will be diamond recording artist Bryan Adams and multiplatinum Albertan superstar Jann Arden. Additionally booked to work with emerging artists in the goal of creating a new hit single are producer Jon Levine (Rachel Platten, Nelly Furtado, Andy Grammer, Dua Lipa, K’Naan, Selena Gomez, Bebe Rexha, Drake, Anjulie…), Australian songwriter Alex Hope (Troye Sivan, Tove Lo…), and Vancouver’s Shaun Frank (The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki…). Music industry heavyweight Scott Borchetta will be back for the second season, and entertainment personality Liz Trinnear will serve as hostess.

Season 1 of the reality show was responsible for a number of iTunes chart toppers including platinum certified single “Ain’t Easy” by Ottawan duo Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine.

In February, Bell Media sold international rights of the format to Sony Pictures Television with the potential of licensing the first season of the Canadian production to global broadcasters. There was also talk but no word yet of development of versions of the program by various other nations, including a British version.

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Alessia Cara Headlining 106th Grey Cup Halftime Show

The Canadian Football League recently announced that R&B singer Alessia Cara will perform during the Halftime Show at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton for the 106th Grey Cup on November 25, 2018. Canada’s largest annual sporting event will be broadcast live on a number of providers beginning at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.

For three consecutive years – 2014-2016 – the Grey Cup Halftime show was headlined by foreign acts which drew much criticism. In 2017, Shania Twain made things Canadian again.

Alessia Cara said, “Performing at the Grey Cup as a Canadian is such an honour.” This year the Brampton, Ontario native made history, as she became the first Canadian ever to win the Best New Artist Grammy in the US. At home she has won a pair of JUNO awards and placed half a dozen songs on the Hot 100 including her quadruple platinum collaboration and Top 10 hit “Stay” with Zedd. Other certifications are “Here” triple platinum, “Wild Things” triple platinum, and “Scars to Your Beautiful” platinum. Her debut, JUNO award winning album Know-It-All is certified platinum and song “1-800-273-8255” by Logic which co-features Alessia quadruple platinum. Her song “How Far I’ll Go” was featured in Disney animated feature film Moana.

Currently charting single “Growing Pains” heralds Cara’s upcoming sophomore album The Pains of Growing.

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie says, “We are so proud to have one of Canada’s most promising stars perform at our pinnacle event, the 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton.”

This will be the first time Edmonton has hosted a Grey Cup since 2010.

Autumn Equinox 2018 News

Marie-Mai, Sarah McLachlan Joining The Launch Season 2

CTV has announced that there will be a Season 2 of The Launch, the make-a-hit-single reality show, the first season of which resulted in success for a number of artists most notably Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine and platinum-certified “Ain’t Easy”. Helping to shape that song was Ryan Tedder of US pop-rock band OneRepublic. He will return for Season 2. Joining him will be Canadian superstar Marie-Mai, arguably the most successful French language pop artist in the country, diamond recording artist Sarah McLachlan, and Max Kerman of Arkells. The show gets underway September 28 and will be hosted by television personality Liz Trinnear.

Adele’s 21 – Canadian Certified Double Diamond

Music Canada recently certified Adele’s blockbuster album 21 at double diamond status. It is the 12th album in history to reach the mark in Canada. Four Canadian artist albums have made the cut which is equivalent to 20x platinum – Alanis Morissette‘s Jagged Little Pill and three albums from Shanian Twain, Come on Over, Up, and The Woman in Me. The other albums are Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Eagles’ Greatest Hits, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Led Zeppelin IV, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon.

Josh Groban Honours Canada

Gifted US singer Josh Groban has released new album Bridges, and in part it honours Canada. First off, Josh co-wrote a number of the album’s original tracks with Canadian songwriter Bernie Herms. He performs a duet with Sarah McLachlan on a cover of “Run” (Snow Patrol). And most impressive of all, he sings in French on a cover of Céline Dion‘s “S’il suffisait d’aimer”!

Investigators Uncover Fraud at Ticketmaster

Are you finding concert tickets exorbitantly priced? Scalpers are to blame while Ticketmaster is innocent? No. Undercover investigators have found fraud surrounding the activities of Ticketmaster, the world’s biggest ticket supplier. Hypocritically, in contrast to its own condemnation of ticket resales by profiteers and in direct violation of its own terms of use, investigators have discovered that Ticketmaster is endeavouring to share in the harvest reaped by scalpers.

Ticketmaster itself has a resale division, and it turns a blind eye to scalpers who use computer software, ticket-buying bots, and multiple fake identities to scoop up thousands of tickets and then resell them on the Ticketmaster site for marked up prices. What’s more, Ticketmaster earns a cut of those resold tickets meaning that it is engaging in double dipping. The CBC states scalpers can “upload large quantities of tickets purchased from Ticketmaster’s site and quickly list them again for resale. With the click of a button, scalpers can hike or drop prices on reams of tickets on Ticketmaster’s site based on their assessment of fan demand.”

Besides inflated resales, Ticketmaster also uses profiteering techniques, like holding back on selling tickets for sections of seats to mislead concert goers into thinking the tickets are selling quickly. In the same way that materialistic interests reinvent language to cloak wrongdoing (corporate greed becomes “remaining competitive”; nudism, “self-confidence”; drug dealer, “activist”, etc.), Ticketmaster refers to its profiteering schemes and scalping techniques as “dynamic pricing”.

Some journalists working for magazines and newspapers being paid by Live Nation/ Ticketmaster for advertising were quick to downplay the results of the investigations in order to protect the financial interests of their corporate executives

Canadian Women Making a Comeback

We leave you with some good news. Largely shafted by Canadian radio over the past couple of years, Canadian women, in all genres of music, are synchronizing forces to conquer the charts. Avril Lavigne‘s comeback single “Head Above Water” championed the iTunes Worldwide chart while making it to #2 in Canada. Moreover, led by Emily Haines, Metric topped iTunes Canada with new album Art of Doubt. The use of Alessia Cara in Canadian female tokenism has been broken at Canadian radio thanks to Delaney Jane and hit single “Bad Habits”. Also, “Better Off” voiced by Jamie Fine is doing … fine … as a followup to the aforementioned “Ain’t Easy”.

Lindsay Ell‘s scoring the first #1 hit by a homegrown female at country radio in a decade has flung the doors wide open for cowgirls, and the recent CCMA gala hosted by Shania Twain has helped fan the flames, a highlight being Jess Moskaluke winning the Album of the Year award. After a successful stint at acting, MacKenzie Porter is back in the studio preparing an EP.

Sally Yeh Appears on Danny Chan Tribute Album

Canadian recording artist Sally Yeh has contributed her vocal talents in two tracks on a newly released Danny Chan tribute album of covers of the late singer’s songs. Hong Kong’s Danny Chan, born 60 years ago, had undoubtedly one of the most beautiful male vocals in pop music history. He died an untimely, heartbreaking death at the age of 35 in 1993 after being in a coma for 17 months. In piece of trivia, Danny performed an English language duet with Crystal Gale in 1984’s “Tell Me What I Can Do”. The new tribute album, released through Universal Music, contains contributions from Cantopop legends like Alan Tam, Priscilla Chan, Shirley Kwan, and others with the most popular tracks from contemporaries Eason Chan and Gigi Leung. The album’s two final offerings are voiced by the incomparable Sally Yeh. Sally, of course, is also known for starring in John Woo’s classic feature film The Killer (1989).  iTunes

Sep 14, 2018 News and Releases: Terri Clark, Dirty Nil, Monster Truck…

Below, we list 19 albums and a trio of EPs that hit the shops this week. Among them are four JUNO winners plus an additional seven nominees. The heavyweights are beginning to contribute to 2018’s catalogue of cacophony. Some eyes will be fixed on the outcome of the Polaris Music Prize on Monday. Excitement brews in various pockets of people concerning promised autumn releases from Metric, Avril Lavigne, Allie X, Alessia Cara, Arkells, Safia Nolin, Tyler Shaw, and many more.

It has been a snowmobile-over-moguls kind of week for Canadian news stories.

Syrian refugee Ibrahim Ali has been charged with the murder of 13-year-old Marrisa Shen in Burnaby, BC’s Central Park, near the heart of the city’s demoviction program. The murder investigation was the largest in Burnaby history with 600 interviews, 1,000 hours of video footage, and 2,000 persons of interest.

Toronto city council found itself at the storm center of politicolegal battles regarding its size. The latest outcome is that the number of councillors is to be shrunk in half. We cannot offer comment on whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, as we are not from Toronto.

Canadian curlers have broken the world record for the length of a game with a 105-hour tussle of sweeping together.

With the folding up of the MuchFACT music video funding program, 2018 has definitely seen a decline of quality MVs from even domestic A-listers. The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television with some partnerships is offering a new program for emerging artists dubbed the Music Video Production Project.

Justin Bieber has apparently tied the knot with Hailey Baldwin in the so-called Big Apple. It has also been reported that he is seeking to become a dual citizen of both Canada and The United States.

With a lack of new music from the AmeriCanadian to be, The Biebs has not received any 2018 American Music Award nominations; however, Drake populates the slate with eight! Shawn Mendes receives two and The Weeknd one. The annual awards show will take place in Los Angeles, USA October 9.

Finally, 80s enthusiasts will cheer, as 1985 hit single “A Criminal Mind” from Gowan was recently certified Platinum by Music Canada (speaking of nifty music videos…).

Find a list of this week’s new releases in the table below.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Ballad of Runaway Girl  Elisapie (1JN) Folk
Battle Lines Bob Moses (2JN) Electronic
Civilianaires The Trews (5JN) Rock
Discipline: Heal Thyself II Steven Page (1JN) AC
Fusils et des roses Farfadet  Rap
Gave In Rest Sarah Davachi Electronic
Gift Shop Jeen Alt Rock
Grand depart David Myles (1JW) S-S
Heaven Dilly Dally (1JN) Alt
Horizons Vishtèn  Folk
Kenny Wheeler: Suite… Hard Rubber Orch. (1JN) Jazz
Ma maison favorite  Paul Daraîche  Country
Master Volume The Dirty Nil (1JW) Rock
Nouvelle maison Mountain Daisies  Country
Nuit des longs couteaux Koriass (1JN) Rap
Raising the Bar Terri Clark (3JW) Country
Sabrina Sabotage Sabrina Sabotage Alt Pop
True Rockers Monster Truck (1JW) Rock
Verites intemporelles Paradox  Rap
Killstreak (EP) Killy Rap
Mercure (EP) Les Louanges Alt
Soran (EP) Soran Pop

Key:

JN – JUNO Award Nominations

JW – JUNO Award Wins

S-S – Singer-Songwriter

AC – Adult Contemporary

Avril Lavigne Hints at New Music in September

Diamond certified recording artist and seven-time JUNO winner Avril Lavigne has hinted at new music dropping in September. On Saturday, she wrote “I can’t wait for September … Chilling this weekend and prepping for my video shoot this week!” The Napanee, Ontario native has released five albums thus far, her most recent five years ago in 2013, a self-titled affair, which spawned, among other hits, platinum certified single “Here’s to Never Growing Up”. The video shoot this week will seek to add to her litany of Vevo certified (100+ million viewed) music videos which currently stands at 13.

What the Stars Are Up To – June 4, 2018 Edition

Céline Dion has confirmed a new batch of shows in her Las Vegas residency from October 30 lasting into January of 2019. Shawn Mendes has a residency of his own – guesting on James Corden all this week. Here are what some of our other stars are up to.

Tegan and Sara Honoured at Governor General Awards

Calgarian identical twin-sister pop duo Tegan and Sara capped off a 20-year music career as recipients of the prestigious Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. The sisters have opened for superstars such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, performed at the 2015 Academy Awards, collaborated with EDM heavyweights Tiesto and Morgan Page, scored a trio of JUNO awards, and achieved gold/platinum certifications on nine recordings. Following the ceremony, Tegan and Sara were featured on CBC’s The National in an interview with Rosemary Barton. Those medals look smashing. They were pressed at the Canadian Mint.

Drake Ties MJ for U.S. Weeks at #1

According to Gary Trust over at Billboard, Drake has tied Michael Jackson for the second-most weeks at #1 on the U.S. Hot 100 among male soloists. The Torontonian tops the chart for the sixth week with “Nice for What” placing him in a tied position with the so-called “king of pop”. With 37 weeks on top for each of them, the two trail leading male soloist Usher who has 47. In the States, Mariah Carey is the champ, having spent 79 weeks at #1 through various hits. Here is the ranking.

Most Weeks at #1 in U.S. Hot 100’s History:

1. Mariah Carey, 79 weeks
2. Rihanna, 60
3. The Beatles, 59
4. Boyz II Men, 50
5. Usher, 47
6. Beyonce, 42
7. Drake, 37
7. Michael Jackson, 37
9. Elton John, 34
10. Janet Jackson, 33
10. Katy Perry, 33

Grimes Dabbles in K-Pop

Grimes is featured in track “love4eva” by K-pop girl group Loona yyxy. The song appears on recently released EP beauty&thebeat. A music video (now over a million views) has been launched, though it does not see an appearance from the Vancouver native. You can view it here.

Find Jess Moskaluke in Camouflage

Jess Moskaluke has released track “Camouflage” as a single, sending it to country radio. It is off her latest disc, Past the Past and the second most downloaded track by radio this week after Maroon 5!

Victoria Duffield Addresses My Mistake

No, we haven’t made a mistake. “My Mistake” is the name of Victoria Duffield‘s latest single. It’s pop music gold and co-written by fellow British Columbian Tyler Shaw. Have a listen below.

Klô Pelgag, Lights, Ruth B to Perform on Canada Day

Celebration organizers of La fête du Canada Day have announced the lineup for the Parliament Hill concert on July 1 as well as supporting shows in the capital. Below is a list of performers. Note that some performers will appear in multiple showtimes. Find more info here.

Major’s Hill Park, June 30

2 p.m. – Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
4 p.m. – Megaphono showcase
7 p.m. – Andréanne A. Malette
8:30 p.m. – River Town Saints
? – Silla and Rise
? – Rise Ashen

Major’s Hill Park, July 1

11 a.m. – Noubi Trio
2 p.m. – The Beaches
4 p.m. – Logan Staats
7:30 p.m. – La Bronze
7:30 p.m. – Jacobus
8:45 p.m. – Charlotte Cardin
? – Yao
? – Miss Shelton

Parliament Hill, July 1, Noon

Arkells
Brigitte Boisjoli
Iskwé
Lights
Queen Ka
Rose Cousins
Martina Ortiz Luis

Parliament Hill, July 1, 8 p.m.

Arkells
Boogát
Brigitte Boisjoli
The Dead South
DJ Shub
Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
Iskwé
Jean-Marc Couture
Klô Pelgag
Lights
Ruth B

Headlines and Footdots for May 19, 2018

It has been quite a week. The Eurovision song contest declared a winner; there was a major plane crash near the city where half of Camila Cabello’s heart is; a Laurel versus Yanny debate surged; the “never again” slogan proved presumptuous via Santa Fe, Texas; beloved Canadian actress Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, has departed from this world; and there was a Royal Wedding which attracted far more fans than the current US President’s inauguration. Regarding Canadian music, here’s the latest…

She Had to Work for the Prism Prize

Canadian R&B singer CDW a.k.a. Charlotte Day Wilson was crowed winner of the 2018 Prism Prize which grants a cash reward to what is deemed the best/most artistic Canadian music video of the year. Her MV for song “Work”, the whole of which features pedestrians on an escalator, pleased the judges most.

Surrounding the awards was talk of the potential demise of higher-budget music videos made for Canadian B-list artists due to the folding up of muscular funding bodies like MuchFACT. Since its inauguration in 1984, The Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent awarded $100 million to 9,000 projects.

The gala proceeded at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox at which the 10 shortlisted MVs were screened, the artists being Grimes, Jessie Reyez, Leonard Cohen, Daniel Caesar, Feist, PUP, CRi, Alvvays, Alice Glass, and Charlotte Day Wilson.

Director Fantavious Fritz, director of Charlotte’s “Work”, won the grand prize of $15,000 for best Canadian music video. He declared that part of the money would be used to create a one-time music video grant for a female director.

Three other awards were given out at the shindig: The audience award, selected by public vote from the top 20 long-list, which went to directors Keaven Yazdani and Sean Brown for Daniel Caesar’s “Freudian, a Visual”; The hi-fidelity award, “presented to a Canadian recording artist with a strong visual identity in music video art,” that went to Grimes; and The Lipsett award for “an innovative and unique approach to music video art” that went to Karena Evans, who directed Drake’s “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What,” as well as Belly’s “The Come Down Is Real Too.”

The Furious Five Populate 2018 BBMA Nominations

If you have been following Canadian Music Blog, you know who we mean by “the furious five” – Alessia Cara, Drake, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd – currently the most internationally charting of Canadian recording artists. The 2018 Billboard Music Awards will take place tomorrow night (Sunday, May 20) at 5 p.m. Pacific, broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and hosted by U.S. singer Kelly Clarkson. Canada’s Shawn Mendes will be one of the performers. He is nominated for Top Social Artist. Drake has 9 nominations, Justin Bieber 8, The Weeknd 4, and Alessia Cara 1 (Top Dance/Electronic song with Zedd).

CCMA Awards: First Three Performers Announced

As far as Canadian award shows go, there have been more announcements regarding the CCMAs (Canadian Country Music Association awards). The top selling female country artist of all-time internationally, Shania Twain, will do hosting duties. This week, the first three performers were announced: Lindsay Ell, High Valley, and New Zealand born Keith Urban. The nationwide broadcast (CBC) happens from FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton on Sunday, September 9, at 5 p.m. Pacific.

Lindsay Ell recently pulled off a feat that no other Canadian female soloist has been able to muster for a full decade: she scored a number one country radio hit for her song “Criminal”. It also cracked into the Top 20 in the United States. Her album The Project was named the #1 Critic’s Choice Country Album of the Year by Billboard magazine. Lindsay is from Calgary, hometown of such other aces as Paul Brandt, Jann Arden, Kiesza, and Tegan & Sara.

Also from Alberta is two-time CCMA Award Group of the Year winning bro-duo High Valley. Song “She’s with Me” reached #7 on the Billboard US Country Airplay chart (yes, you read that right). Since 2011, the brothers have placed 10 songs on the Canadian Hot 100. “I Be U Be” made it to #1 at Canadian country radio.

Eric Lapointe and Loud Luxury Rip Up the Charts

Rocker Eric Lapointe scored a #2 album with Delivrance this week, outshone only by Post Malone. On the Digital Chart, Celine Dion‘s “Ashes” from the Deadpool 2 soundtrack, debuted at #5; it appeared on the Hot 100 at #72. Great news for Loud Luxury‘s “Body”, the big success story of the year. The single, now a double platinum one, is #10 on the Hot 100 and currently sits at #2 on iTunes just behind the new release from The Backstreet Boys. Shawn Mendes‘ “Youth” debuted at #22.

Headlines and Footdots April 22, 2018

Serena Ryder Guesting on The Voice

La Voix is into the quarter finals. The talent search show has been going strong since the beginning and this year enjoys its sixth season. This year’s coaches are Garou, Lara Fabian, Éric Lapointe, and Alex Nevsky. Tonight, Serena Ryder will be guesting on the second quarterfinal episode to play a number of her hits.

Felix Cartal Dropping New Album

Avicii is no longer with us, Zedd is busy drooling over his newly constructed unsightly colourless mansion, and we haven’t heard much from deadmau5. Stepping up to the EDM plate is Vancouver’s own Felix Cartal who will be releasing new LP Next Season on so-called Star Wars Day. The album will include many of his previous single releases such as hit “Get What You Give” and plenty of new pieces.

Loreena McKennitt and Facebook’s Lost Souls

Celtic/new age/world music star Loreena McKennitt, hailing from the same hometown as Justin Bieber, will be releasing a new album as well. Lost Souls, out May 11, will be her 10th. She managed to attract some press, no so much with the upcoming work but with her statement that she will be deleting her Facebook account after the album comes out due to the social media platform’s breaches of privacy.

Shawn Mendes at Queen’s 92nd Birthday

Britain is treating Canada better since the fiasco that was the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 when no Canadian artist was included in the performance lineup and artists from non-Commonwealth nations were invited. For the Queen’s 92nd birthday, the lineup made more sense. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history. Canada’s Shawn Mendes performed along with Sting from England, Tom Jones Wales, Jamie Cullum England, Kylie Minogue Australia, Shaggy Jamaica, and Craig David England.

Tom Cochrane’s “Big League” Makes a Comeback

Tom Cochrane’s song “Big League”, 75th of 1988, has picked up a number of radio spins since the Humbolt Broncos tragedy. He has also released a simplified version of the song – acoustic guitar and voice only – which is Top 40 at iTunes. The song tells the story of a young hockey player headed into the big leagues but crashes into a truck.

All the right moves when he turned eighteen
Scholarship and school on a big U.S. team
Out with his girl near Lake McClean
Hit a truck doing seventy in the wrong lane
To the big league

Benefit Concert for the Broncos

Country stars Brett Kissel, Chad Brownlee, Dallas Smith, Gord Bamford, The Hunter Brothers, and Jess Moskaluke are going to play a big fundraising concert for the victims of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy April 27 in Saskatoon. Sixteen were killed in a bus crash when a lorry struck it on the highway.

Other Canadian artists have paid tribute to the victims including Paul Brandt who performed a powerful song on CBC’s q, as well as rap superstar Drake who wore a Broncos jersey at a recent Toronto Raptors (basketball) game. After the match, he and the Raptors signed the jersey, which will be auctioned to raise funds for the families.

A Go Fund Me page that has raised $14 million — one of the largest sums ever on the site — will close on Wednesday.

Lindsay Ell Scores First Female Canadian #1 Country Song in 10 Years!

From the city of Crowchild Trail, Benny the Bear, and the Saddledome, Calgary’s Lindsay Ell, discovered by Randy Bachman when she was just 15, has just done something no other female Canadian artist has been able to do for 10 long years.

Releasing her gold, magenta, and vermillion tinged album The Project in 2017, hailed by Billboard magazine as the best country album of the year, Lindsay let loose the blistering track “Criminal”, and it has decimated the charts. It is the number one country radio single in the land, and the first from a maple-femme artist since Terri Clark’s “In My Next Life” from 2008. “Criminal” has also entered the Top 20 in the United States’ nationwide country airplay chart!

For many years, a Canadian artist was unable to scratch the surface of the country charts until Gord Bamford’s fireball, “When Your Lips Are So Close” in November 2013. This was followed by a string of number ones by Canadians, but all gentlemen: “Bounty” by Dean Brody, “Wastin’ Gas” by Dallas Smith, “Airwaves” by Brett Kissel, “Autograph” by Dallas Smith, “Side Effects” by Dallas Smith, “I Be U Be” by High Valley, “Chills” by James Barker Band, “Sky Stays This Blue” by Dallas Smith, “Sleepin’ Around” by Dallas Smith, and “8th Day” by Dean Brody.

On the accomplishment, Lindsay states, “I am humbled and grateful to be the first female artist to have a #1 since 2008 on the Canadian country radio charts. Sometimes you work so hard for the things you want, they feel surreal when they happen. Thank you country radio for believing in me and making this possible. Thank you to each and every fan for never giving up on me. I will try my best to continue to make you proud.”

Ell is currently on tour with Brad Paisely and will join Sugarland for 20+ dates in the summer. She is set to play with Keith Urban in Canadian arenas in September. Check out her website for dates.

By scoring a number one country hit, Lindsay Ell has blown the field wide open for Canadian women. 

We embed the MV for “Criminal” below. As you can hear, it’s very catchy with delicious vocal hooks and excellent guitar work from Lindsay Ell herself.

More JUNO Performers Added to the Bill

Platinum recording artist and double JUNO winner Lights will be onstage to perform at the 2018 JUNO awards as announced by CARAS today. Hamilton group Arkells with four JUNO trophies to boast will do the honours as well. In a special tribute to Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip frontman who succumbed to glioblastoma last year, Dallas Green (a.k.a. City and Colour) and Sarah Harmer will sing together.

These slayers join the lineup along with previously announced Arcade Fire, Daniel Caesar, and Jessie Reyez.

New Releases – Feb 23, 2018: Dumas and OLP

Canadian Athletes Set New Winter Olympic Record

Canada’s Winter Olympic medals haul has smashed all records, the previous number being 26. We’re up to 29 with potentially a few more medals by the closing of the games this weekend. There may have been some disappointments, especially with the hockey and curling, but athletes in other departments made up for it. Here is a list of all 29 medals won by Team Canada:

Sebastien Toutant – Gold – Snowboard: Men’s Big Air
Team Canada – Bronze – Ice Hockey: Men
Brittany Phelan – Silver – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kelsey Serwa – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kaetlyn Osmond – Bronze – Figure Skating: Ladies Single Skating
Team Canada – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000m Relay
Kim Boutin – Silver – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 1,000m
Team Canada – Silver – Ice Hockey: Women
Brady Leman – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Ski Cross
Team Canada – Bronze – Bobsleigh: Women
Alex Beaulieu-Marchand – Bronze – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Ski Slopestyle
Team Canada – Gold – Bobsleigh: 2-man
Cassie Sharpe – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe
Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – Gold – Figure Skating: Ice Dance
Kim Boutin – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 1,500m
Samuel Girard – Gold – Short Track Speed Skating: Men’s 1,000m
Justine Dufour-Lapointe – Silver – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Moguls
Max Parrot – Silver – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Mark McMorris – Bronze – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Silver – Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000m
Team Canada – Gold – Figure Skating: Team Event
Mikael Kingsbury – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Moguls
Laurie Blouin – Silver – Snowboard: Ladies’ Slopestyle
Team Canada – Gold – Curling: Mixed Doubles
Alex Gough – Bronze – Luge – Women’s Singles
Kim Boutin – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 500m
Team Canada – Bronze – Figure Skating: Pair Skating
Team Canada – Silver – Luge: Team Relay
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Gold – Speed Skating: Men’s 10,000m

Kim Boutin to Carry the Flag for Canada

Sherbrooke’s Kim Boutin has been selected as Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While she did not earn a gold medal, the short-track speed skater outshone the other athletes by winning three – one silver (1,000m) and two bronze (1,500m and 500m). Kim was a sentimental favourite as well, having to put up with online vitriol and death threats, being blamed for the disqualification of a Korean skating ace in the 500m. Boutin was in a position to win a fourth medal, as Team Canada had snagged bronze in the 3,000m relay but later disqualified in a ruling of impeding other skaters on the track.

Arkells in Concert for Team Canada

“Giants” by Lights became somewhat of an unofficial anthem for Canadian athletes at the games, and now Canadian music is coming in person to the athletes thanks to Virtue and Moir’s invitation of their favourite act Arkells to perform for Team Canada. The Hamilton band has nabbed three gold certified albums, two gold singles, and won four JUNO Awards. Members are excited, as it is their first time to visit Asia. The group says it will include a cover of an Alanis Morissette song in its set.

Arcade Fire to Perform at JUNO Gala

Speaking of performances, a third act has been confirmed to perform at the JUNO Awards gala on March 25 – Arcade Fire. The Montreal collective is up for four awards this year – Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Group of the Year, and Alternative Album of the Year. Its disc is also up for the Album Artwork of the Year trophy. For AF’s global success (the group has for example won both Grammy and BRIT awards), the JUNOs will also be presenting the band with the 2018 International Achievement Award. As the JUNO Awards have dropped Hedley from the bill, Arcade Fire will join the presently short roster which also consists of new acts Jessie Reyez and Daniel Caesar.

New Releases Include OLP and Dumas

We’re back to a strong showing for new Canadian artist releases. Find a table of 24 below. Highlights include Somethingness from diamond certified quadruple JUNO winning group Our Lady Peace, containing the catchiest songs the band has written in years. Slightly outselling the album on the current iTunes chart is Nos idéaux from gold certified talent Dumas – bursting with choice flavours including some electropop. We also like Coffee and Jam by alternative group Grounders (which we previously reviewed), Chrome by dance floor shaker Debbie Tebbs, Sauvignon and a Kimono (EP) by pop slayer DYLYN, and Stone Woman by critically acclaimed R&B specialist Charlotte Day Wilson. Below the table, check out a brand new Canadian artist MV from guess who?

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Alive and Well Big Little Lions S-S/Folk
Basic Behaviour Frigs Alt
Chrome Debbie Tebbs Pop
Coffee and Jam Grounders   Alt
Daiva Stephane Moraille World
Echos Joshua Hyslop S-S/Folk
La femme taupe Victime Alt
The Game Ronley Teper Alt
Imitation Gold Louize Alt
In a State Shy Kids Alt
Lost Touch We Were Sharks Punk
Mon herbier du monde entier Ponctuation Alt
Nos ideaux Dumas Pop
People Person Everett Bird Alt
Realm of Human Illusions Necrotic Mutation Metal
Skip Land Mayhemingways  S-S/Folk
Somethingness Our Lady Peace Rock
Teach Me to Love Beams Alt
Tempus Fugit Marc-André Pépin Classical
These Flowers Are for You ChessClub Rap
O La Si (EP) Carine Au Micro World
Sauvignon and a Kimono (EP) DYLYN Pop
Six In 6/8 (EP) David Leask Country
Stone Woman (EP) Charlotte Day Wilson R&B

“I Don’t Wanna Know” Tugs at the Heartstrings

We leave you with the brand new MV for Kira Isabella‘s beautiful heartbreaking acoustic guitar ballad “I Don’t Wanna Know” below. Feel the stings to the heart in lines like, “I’m wearing that dress from our first date, and you don’t notice”.

The Launch Wraps Up with a Big Distribution Deal

Bell Media’s The Launch, produced by the Big Machine Label Group, has wrapped up Season One after seven episodes broadcast on CTV. Six singles voiced by winning contestants saw success in terms of digital downloads and picked up radio spins across the country. The most successful on the charts has been “Ain’t Easy” by Ottawa’s Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine. Below are the six tracks.

The show’s 7th episode, titled “Just Launched”, was a followup on how things have gone for the singers.

An international distribution deal has been inked by Sony Pictures Television who will look into releasing the program’s format in foreign countries. It may also mean that the Canadian series will be aired on networks around the world. The Launch debuted at number one in its timeslot on CTV.

Mentors, songwriters, and producers appearing through Season One included Alessia Cara, Boy George, busbee (P!nk, Shakira, Blake Shelton), Dann Huff, Fergie, Ian Kirkpatrick (Jason Derulo, Selena Gomez), Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland), Julia Michaels (Mötley Crüe), Ryan Tedder (One Republic), Shania Twain, and Stephan Moccio (Nikki Yanofsky, Miley Cyrus).

For those who were unable to tune into The Launch, its format involved the introduction of a new original song composed by a hit songwriter in each episode. Five aspiring recording artists auditioned. Two were selected whom the mentors felt had the most potential and worked over the next 48 hours to record their version of it. The two contestants then performed their rendition before a live audience and one was chosen. The resulting digital single was launched that night.

Stratford, Ontario Cuts the Ribbon to Exhibit Biebs

From boy busker to global pop superstar, Justin Bieber is honoured by his hometown of Stratford, Ontario with the opening of a dedicated exhibit at the town’s Perth Museum. While annual visitors normally number around 7,000, traffic is expected to rise dramatically until the exhibit closes at the end of the year. According to the museum’s general manager, the phone has been ringing off the hook with calls and emails originating from all over Canada, The United States, and from far off lands like South Korea, Spain, Italy, and Japan. “From Thursday to Sunday morning, I had about a thousand emails from either media outlets or fans, or people interested in coming here.”

Bearing the name Justin Bieber Exhibit — Steps to Stardom, inspired by his posting videos on YouTube of busking on the steps of the Avon Theatre a decade ago, the display features an assortment of items: his drum set, running shoes, stage outfits, a Stratford Warriors jacket from his junior hockey days, a letter from former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Ellen underwear, a take home gift after appearing on the popular chat show. The 60 pieces were provided by Bieber and his relatives, as well as other Stratford residents and fans. Through the year, they will be continually refreshed from the museum’s access to 125 Bieber items.

Justin was unable to attend the opening, as he was busy playing in the celebrity NBA all-star game in Los Angeles, USA Friday night. Last night he talked with high school junior Cameron Kasky who, in the wake of the Florida school shooting, is organizing March for Our Lives, a nationwide protest in the States March 24 to demand gun regulation and condemn American politicians’ acceptance of bribes from the country’s National Rifle Association.

Besides the exhibit, visitors to Stratford can also check out Bieber landmarks around town: the pop star’s former high school of Northwestern, the steps to the Avon Theatre from his busking days, his favourite eateries: candy shop Rhéo Thompson Candies, ice cream parlour Scooper’s, and “his table” at Madelyn’s Diner.