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
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.


1989 Is a Reminder of the Value of CanCon

MAPLTaylor Swift’s 1989 album sold 107,000 units in Canada last week. It is the highest first-week sales total since AC/DC’s Black Ice sold 119,000 copies in 2008. We attribute the success both to her refusal to make it available on streaming services like Rdio and Deezer (here’s hoping other artists will follow her lead) as well as unusually aggressive promotion, without having heard it, by the American media. The latter is a reminder of why Canadian content regulations are vitally important. With the dastardly rich American media hyping its own artists globally, Canadian singers would be wiped into oblivion without CanCon. Consider too that the same nationalistic U.S. media relentlessly bashes all the big name Canadian artists, often without due cause, simply because they are Canadian.

It’s interesting to note that synth pop albums by Canadians like Little Machines by LIGHTS and Heartthrob by Tegan and Sara have been rated as better than Taylor Swift’s 1989 by the general public in Canada, The United Kingdom, and United States but have not sold as well. The only possible explanation for the discrepancy is the difference in marketing. Below, is a table revealing the ratings mathematically converted to scores out of 100 using iTunes data from the respective countries. (None of this is to discredit Swift; she and her album are wonderful.)

Synth Pop Albums Ratings