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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CANADA DAY! Time to Celebrate Canada's Musicians

A special edition of the Acoustic Americana Music Guide for "Canada Day!" For a country with such a small population, the number and quality of Canada's musicians is truly astonishing.

It's a good time to acknowledge just HOW MANY famous "Folk-Americana" musicians should really be called Folk-Canadiana musicians, eh? Except their music is rarely about their native land. And just who they are, in many cases, will surprise you.

So let's have a look at musicians who are famous in The States but who were born north of the border. And while we're at it, we'll look at "O, Canada," their national anthem, the twists and turns of how Canada Day came about, and just how new that anthem AND Canada's flag are. (Hint: many of the people reading this are older than both those things.)


There are many lists. We chose, as our starting point, one compiled by UC Davis, in California — though we quickly determined we had to spend serious time making numerous additions to correct GLARING omissions. It's now as solid as we can make it in time for today's special celebration.

NOTABLE MUSICIANS FROM CANADA. Alphabetic, by last name or band name:

• Adams, Brian: Musician. "Cuts Like a Knife","Everything I Do,I Do It For You"
• Aglukark, Susan: Folk musician (added)
• Anka, Paul: Musician. "Diana," "My Way," "The Tonight Show Theme"
• April Wine: Band. "You Could Have Been A Lady," "Bad Side Of The Moon"
• Arden, Jann: Musician. "Living Under June"
• Bahamas: Folk band (added)
• Bachman-Turner-Overdrive: Band. "Let It Ride," "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"
• Barber, Del: Folk musician (added)
• Barenaked Ladies: Band. "If I Had $1,000,000," "Be My Yoko Ono"
• Bennett, Willie P.: Folk musician (added)
• The Bills: Folk band (added)
• Brooks, Jon: Folk musician (added)
• Bulat, Basia: Musician. Current successful folk artist (added)
• Charlebois, Claude: Folk musician (added)
• Charlebois, Robert: Musician
• City and Colour: Band. Current successful folk artists (added)
• Cockburn, Bruce: Musician. "Wondering Where the Lions Are," "If I Had a Rocket Launcher"
• Cohen, Leonard: Author, Musician. "Suzanne," "Beautiful Losers"
• Cole, Holly: Singer. The Holly Cole Trio
• Connors, Stompin' Tom: Folk musician (added)
• Cormier, J.P.: Folk musician (added)
• Cousins, Rose: Musician (added)
• The Cowboy Junkies: Band. "The Trinity Session," "Black-Eyed Man"
• The Crash Test Dummies: Band. "God Shuffled His Feet," "Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm"
• Dion, Celine: Singer. "Beauty and the Beast"
• Edwards, Kathleen: Musician (added)
• Fearing, Stephen: Folk musician (added)
• Feist: Folk musician (added)
• Ferguson, Maynard: Jazz Trumpeter. "Gonna Fly Now" theme from Rocky
• Ferron: Musician. "Phantom Center"
• Francey, David: Musician. Current successful folk artist (added)
• Fraser, Willie: Musician. Scottish-Gaelic step-dancing fiddler, died in 2015 at age 100 (added)
• Furtado, Nelly: Folk musician (added)
• Gallant, Lennie: Folk musician (added)
• Gilbert, Tyler: Musician. Emerging "underground folk musician" (added)
• Gilday, Leela: Folk musician (added)
• Gillis, Tanya Tagac: Musician (added)
• Gould, Glenn: Classical Pianist. "Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould"
• Grant, Jenn: Musician (added)
• Great Lake Swimmers: Band. Current successful folk artists (added)
• The Guess Who: Band. "American Woman"
• Gunning, Dave: Folk musician (added)
• Harmer, Sarah: Folk musician (added)
• Hart, Corey: Musician. "Sunglasses at Night"
• Healey, Jeff: Musician. "Angel Eyes," "Confidence Man"
• Hemsworth, Wade: Folk musician (added)
• Hynes, Ron: Folk musician (added)
• Jepsen, Carley Rae: Musician (added)
• Joel, Matthew: Musician. Emerging "underground folk musician" (added)
• Keelaghan, James: Musician (added)
• The Koles: Folk band (added)
• Krall, Diana: Jazz vocalist
• Kreviazuk, Chantal: Musician. "Under these Rocks and Stones"
• lang, k.d.: Musician. "Absolute Torch and Twang," "Ingenue"
• Lanois, Daniel: Producer, Musician. "Acadie," also produced U2 and Bob Dylan
• Lavigne, Avril: Musician, songwriter. The 7th biggest-selling songwriter of all time (added)
• Lightfoot, Gordon: Musician. "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," "If You Could Read My Mind"
• Lombardo, Guy: Musician, Band Leader.
• MacIsaac, Ashley: Musician. "Hi, How Are You Today?"
• MacMaster, Buddy: renowned Cape Breton fiddler, died in 2014 at age 89 (added)
• MacMaster, Natalie: Musician, champion Cape Breton step-dancing fiddler (added)
• MacNeil, Rita: Folk musician (added)
• Maida, Raine: Folk musician (added)
• Mangan, Dan: Folk musician (added)
• McGarrigle, Kate and Anna: Musicians. "Heart Like a Wheel," "Heartbeats Accelerating"
• McKennitt, Loreena: Musician. "The Mask and Mirror," "The Book Of Secrets"
• McLachlan, Sarah: Musician. "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy"
• McLauchlan, Murray; Folk musician (added)
• McClellan, Catherine: Folk musician (added)
• McRae, Linda: Folk musician (added)
• Michel, Jacques: Folk musician (added)
• Miles, Lynn: Folk musician (added)
• Mitchell, Joni: Musician. "Raised on Robbery," "Help Me," "Free Man in Paris"
• Moody, Ruth: Folk musician (added)
• Morissette, Alanis: Musician. "You Oughta Know," "Jagged Little Pill"
• Murray, Anne: Musician. "Snowbird," "You Needed Me"
• Nash, Jordy: Folk musician (added)
• Old Man Luedecke: Band. Current successful folk artists (added)
• Parker, Jon Kimura: Classical concert pianist.
• Peterson, Oscar: Jazz Pianist.
• Plamondon, Luc: Composer. "Starmania"
• Plaskett, Joel: Musician. Current successful folk artist (added)
• The Pursuit of Happiness: Band. "I'm an Adult Now," "Two Girls In One"
• Rankin, Jimmy: Folk musician (added)
• Robertson, Robbie: Musician. Formerly of The Band, "Somewhere Down the Crazy River," "Storyville"
• Rogers, Garnet: Folk Musician
• Rogers, Stan: Folk Musician. "Northwest Passage"
• Rough Trade: Band. "All Touch (and No Contact)," "High School Confidential"
• Rush: Band. "The Spirit of Radio," "Tom Sawyer," newsgroup
• Sainte-Marie, Buffy: Musician, Actress. "Universal Soldier," "Summer Boy"
• Sexsmith, Ron: Folk musician (added)
• Shaffer, Paul: Musician. Band leader on "The Late Show with David Letterman"
• Shauf, Andy: Musician. Emerging  "underground folk musician" (added)
• Siberry, Jane: Musician. "Mimi on the Beach," "Love is Everything," biography
• Skinny Puppy: Band. "Addiction," "Stairs and Flowers"
• Snow, Hank: Musician. "I'm Moving On," "I've Been Everywhere"
• Stratas, Teresa: Opera singer.
• Twain, Shania: Musician. "The Woman In Me"
• Two Bicycles: Band. Emerging "underground folk musicians" (added)
• The Tragically Hip: Band. "New Orleans is Sinking"
• Tyson, Ian: Folk, cowboy music icon (added)
• Tyson, Sylvia: Folk musician (added)
• Valdy: Folk musician. Icon (added)
• Vannelli, Gino: Musician. "Black Cars Look Better in the Shade"
• Voisine, Roch: Musician, Actor. "Hélène"
• Wainwright, Martha: Folk musician (added)
• Wainwright, Rufus: Musician (added)
• Young, Neil : Musician. "Heart of Gold," "Southern Man," "Powderfinger," "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" (song added)

(Sources of above list: 40% from The Guide, 60% from UC Davis, at: )


Which, by the way, was called "Dominion Day" until 1982.

And it's more than just the title affixed to the day that, as it turns out, is a rather new-ish thing. 2015 marks only the 50th anniversary of Canada's national "maple leaf" flag (the date was in February).

Canada Day — which, in French, the nation's other official language, is Fête du Canada — is THE national day of Canada, like America's Fourth of July. In Canada, July 1st (even back when it was "Dominion Day") is a statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the 1867 enactment of the British North America Act. And oh, Canada has changed the name of that, too. Today it's called the Constitution Act, eh? Either way, it's what united the three colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the United Province of Canada into a single country called Canada within the British Empire.

Originally, as Dominion Day — or in French, Le Jour de la Confédération — the holiday just sounded pompous, officious, and like something imposed by a monarchical presence. It was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act took effect, the Act that resulted in "the patriation" (ratification) of the Constitution of Canada. Now, annual Canada Day observances take place throughout the world's second-largest nation (in terms of its land area) and Canadians everywhere engage in revelry internationally.



"O, Canada" is the national anthem. Here are the official lyrics — since July 1, 1980 — and the story behind them.

Lyrics in English

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!

From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

(Official Lyrics as of July 1, 1980.)

Lyrics in French

O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux.

Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, Il sait porter la croix.

Ton histoire est une épopée, Des plus brillants exploits.

Et ta valeur, de foi trempée, Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Canada's national anthem, as proclaimed in 1980, is a slightly modified version of the first verse of a poem written by Judge R. Stanley Weir in 1908. Here's that poem.

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North, strong and free! And stand on guard, O Canada, We stand on guard for thee.

Refrain O Canada, glorious and free! We stand on guard, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow. Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow. How dear to us thy broad domain, From East to Western Sea, Thou land of hope for all who toil! Thou True North, strong and free!

Refrain O Canada, glorious and free! etc.

O Canada! Beneth thy shining skies May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise, To keep thee steadfast through the years From East to Western Sea, Our own beloved native land! Our True North, strong and free!

Refrain O Canada, glorious and free! etc.

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer, Hold our dominion within thy loving care; Help us to find, O God, in thee A lasting, rich reward, As waiting for the Better Day, We ever stand on guard.

Refrain O Canada, glorious and free! etc

Original Poem by Judge, R. Stanley Weir, 1908
Music by: Calixa Lavallée.

(Source: )


Want more?

What Exactly Is Canada Day?

by Miss Cellania

(From Mental Floss)

Happy Canada Day! On July 1, 1867, the nation was officially born when the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, which then split into Ontario and Quebec. However, Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982. The holiday called Dominion Day was officially established in 1879, but it wasn't observed by many Canadians, who considered themselves to be British citizens. Dominion Day started to catch on when the 50th anniversary of the confederation rolled around in 1917. In 1946, a bill was put forth to rename Dominion Day, but arguments in the House of Commons over what to call the holiday stalled the bill.

The 100th anniversary in 1967 saw the growth of the spirit of Canadian patriotism and Dominion Day celebrations really began to take off. Although quite a few Canadians already called the holiday Canada Day (Fête du Canada), the new name wasn't formally adopted until October of 1982. Image by Martin C. Barry.

What's a patriotic celebration without a parade? There will be parades held in cities, towns, and villages all over Canada today. Flickr user Antony Pranata captured images of the Canada Day parade in Richmond, British Columbia in 2008.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have an established group called the RCMP Musical Ride. These 32 officers, who are rotated after three years service, perform equestrian drills for the public throughout Canada. Flickr user Nikki Tate caught the Musical Ride performing in Ottawa on Canada Day in 2007, and posted a set of great photographs.

Other Canada Day traditions that are gaining footholds are picnics, festivals, sporting events, and fireworks.

Many Canada Day events are planned all over the country, including Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Victoria. Image by Bruce Stotesbury/Times Colonist.

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The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS and views of interest to artists everywhere, more specifically to musicians and the creative community, and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music, both traditional and innovative. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules of performances in Southern California venues large and small. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kids o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to proto blues.
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