As we come upon the 40th anniversary of The Juno Awards I feel it only fitting that I take time to reflect on the amazing music and scene that has come from Canada.
I've had the pleasure of working in the Canadian music industry for over 12 years now and need to pinch myself each-and-every-day. I got my start with a legendary publicist named Jane Harbury. Jane ran the publicity for the Juno Awards at that time and showed me the ropes. She taught me from day one how to do things right. Doing things right 'The Canadian Way' meant to treat each artist with the respect they deserve. Musician's put their most honest of thoughts out there for us and so the least we can do, as an industry, is return that and bring this music to the masses together.
It's amazing the people that I've had the chance to work with, learn from and meet over these years - and (most of the time) a pleasure to see that they are down to earth.
From boardroom meetings about the next Tragically Hip release to studio sessions with artists like Sarah Harmer, Sam Roberts and Masters like Paul Anka - it never gets old. The idea of working in this business seemed like a dream growing-up - but it all came from a love of the amazing music I was listening to while doing so.
Like many teens growing up in the burbs I often found myself headed up the 400 series highways to festivals throughout the summer. There was Edgefest, Summersault, Another Roadside Attraction, Eden Music Festival to name a few. They were all day long outings to see a few big names and to learn about a dozen more. They never let you down. I learned so much about Canadian acts and their International friends they brought on tours.
Canadian music has found it tough to cross borders and oceans at times. Then there's other times (like now) they shine a light back at this massive land and allow the World a glimpse to what we're about. Most persons around the world wouldn't be able to differentiate Canadian and American music - which is fine - but as Canadians we sometimes find that hard to grasp. We support our bands so much so that we want to see them succeed on the World Stage. Most of my cousins that live in the UK only know of Bryan Adams and Celine Dion as Canadian. They refer to Bryan Adams as 'The Vancouver Groover' which, as a Canadian, I've never heard - but I digress...
I'd love to share with you a list of solid Canadian tunes that meant something special to me in one way or another. There are many more - but I'd like to get some sleep tonight so I've decided on these ones.
- Treble Charger - 'Red'
- Melanie Fiona - 'Monday Morning'
- Grapes of Wrath - 'All The Things I Wasn't' and 'You May Be Right'
- Paul Anka - 'My Way' *Paul penned this one along with many many more.
- Pluto - 'Paste'
- I Mother Earth - 'So Gently We Go'
- Wintersleep - 'Weighty Ghost'
- Sandbox - 'Curious'
- Our Lady Peace - '4AM'
- Rufus Wainwright - 'California'
- Sam Roberts Band - 'Where Have All The Good People Gone'
- Blue Rodeo - '5 Days in May'
- Arcade Fire - 'Ready to Start'
- 54-40 - 'One Gun
- Joni Mitchell - 'Help Me'
- Anne Murray - 'Snow Bird'
- Bruce Cockburn - 'Lovers in a Dangerous Time'
- Moist - 'Silver'
- Tragically Hip - 'Nautical Disaster'
- Barenaked Ladies - 'What a Good Boy'
- Neil Young - 'Change Your Mind'
- Gandharvas - 'First Day of Spring'
- Bryan Adams - 'Heaven'
This list could go on forever. There really are that many great Canadian artists, songs, albums and industry folk that it would be impossible to list them all.
I am truly honoured to be part of this and look forward to another 40 years of music from the Great White.
Thanks for reading/listening.