Happy Canada Day!

144 years ago today, the greatest country in the world was born.  I’m not only proud to be a Canadian, I enjoy being one.

No we don’t live in igloos.  Yes, we have Tim Hortons.  No, we don’t get snow all year round.  Yes, we can be ridiculously polite.  No, I don’t know that guy from Canada named Gordon.

The best thing I’ve heard that sort of sums up Canada is a sign I saw once.  “Welcome to Canada, where you can’t smoke a fag, but you can marry one.”

(And no, I’m not being derogatory by using the term “fag”.  I have a lot of dear friends who are gay.  In fact, one of them gave me permission to use that term…thanks, Byron!)

But what that line says to me, for all its levity, is that we are not tolerant to things that will annoy others, but, on the other hand, we are a country of live and let live.  That we embrace diversity in all its forms.  And that’s a good thing.

However, today, I wanted to highlight a specific distinction of Canada.  On our 144th birthday, I present to you 144 musicians or bands from Canada.  They are in no particular order.  I’ll highlight a few important ones at the end.

    • Ashley MacIsaac
    • Teenage Head

Teenage Head

    • Diana Krall
    • Loverboy
    • Streetheart
    • Bryan Adams
    • Prism
    • Harlequin
    • Blue Rodeo

Blue Rodeo

    • The Tragically Hip
    • Ian Thomas (brother of Dave Thomas, SCTV alum and one half of the official “hoser” duo of Bob & Doug McKenzie)
    • Klaatu
    • Burton Cummings
    • 54-40
    • Dal Bello
    • Lighthouse
    • FM
    • Max Webster
    • Bob Segarini
    • Goddo
    • Three Day’s Grace
    • Corey Hart
    • Platinum Blonde

Platinum Blonde

    • Gowan
    • Powder Blues Band
    • The Spoons
    • Honeymoon Suite
    • Glass Tiger
    • Steppenwolf
    • Trooper
    • Chilliwack
    • Triumph
    • Santers
    • Headpins
    • Saga
    • The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

    • Sam Roberts
    • Til Tuesday
    • That kid with the hair who rhymes with “Beaver” (I cannot bring myself to give him a specific mention here)
    • Big Sugar
    • Rheostatics
    • The Kings
    • Cowboy Junkies
    • The Payola$
    • The Jeff Healey Band
    • Colin James
    • Barenaked Ladies
    • Bruce Cockburn
    • Tom Cochrane
    • Red Rider
    • Moist
    • Alanis Morissette
    • Five Man Electrical Band
    • April Wine
    • The Band
    • Robbie Robertson
    • Ronny Hawkins
    • Tommy Hunter
    • Alannah Myles

Alannah Myles

    • Alexisonfire
    • Jann Arden
    • The Northern Pikes
    • Doug & the Slugs
    • Evans Blue
    • Sarah McLachlan
    • Chantal Kreviazuk
    • Crash Test Dummies
    • Tal Bachman (son of Randy Bachman, of the Guess Who and BTO)
    • Aldo Nova
    • The Diodes
    • Barney Bentall & the Legendary Hearts
    • A Foot In Cold Water
    • Toronto
    • Helix
    • Matthew Good (with and without “Band”)
    • Holly Cole Trio
    • Sloan
    • The Tea Party

Tea Party

    • Jeff Martin (now solo from The Tea Party)
    • Our Lady Peace
    • Econoline Crush
    • Pagliaro
    • Gino Vanelli
    • Men Without Hats
    • 13 Engines
    • Age of Electric
    • Battered Wives (who’s drummer went on to drum with Blue Rodeo)
    • Boy’s Brigade
    • Big Wreck
    • Thornley (Thornley’s band after Big Wreck)
    • Michael Bublé
    • Chalk Circle
    • Blue Peter
    • I Mother Earth
    • Edwin
    • Crash Karma (with members of I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace and the Tea Party)
    • Nickelback
    • Theory of a Dead Man
    • The Headstones
    • The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir
    • Hugh Dillon (from the Headstones, now in a couple of TV series – Durham County and Flashpoint)
    • Norah Jones
    • Finger Eleven
    • Frozen Ghost
    • BB Gabor
    • Coney Hatch

Coney Hatch

    • Nelly Furtado
    • The Watchmen
    • Grapes of Wrath
    • Ginger
    • treble charger
    • Anvil
    • Haywire
    • Killjoys
    • Joydrop
    • Billy Talent
    • Rough Trade
    • The Trews
    • Metric
    • Danko Jones
    • Sass Jordan
    • Strange Advance

Strange Advance

    • Junkhouse
    • Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
    • Pure
    • J.D. Fortune (winner of Rockstar INXS)
    • Lukas Rossi (winner of Rockstar Supernova)
    • Wide Mouth Mason
    • The Killer Dwarfs
    • The Odds
    • Lee Aaron
    • Bif Naked

Bif Naked

  • Avril Lavigne
  • k.d. lang

Okay, that’s the bulk of them and by no means is this a complete list.  But then there’s I guess what you’d call the royalty of Canadian Music…and yes, you could argue there’s more in the list above that could fit here as well.  But it’s my list, so the final ten are

  • Stompin’ Tom Connors (I think we have to crown him the ultimate Canadian musician)

Stompin' Tom

  • Gordon Lightfoot
  • Anne Murray
  • Celine Dion (much as it pains me to even consider her for the list…Celine…ick)
  • Rush
  • Neil Young
  • The Guess Who
  • Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  •  Ian & Sylvia Tyson
  •  Joni Mitchell

And there’s my list.  Go listen to some great Canadian music today!

Postscript:  I had Anne Murray on the list, but somehow forgot her on the first version of this.  I grudgingly added Celine at my wife’s insistence.  I refuse to add Shania Twain.  Steve Earle once described her as “the highest paid lapdancer in Nashville.”


6 thoughts on “Happy Canada Day!

  1. OK, I can forgive you for leaving out Shania Twain and Celine Dion, as you say, it’s your list. BUT, to include Justin Bieber over Anne Murray is just Un-Canadian…

    Shame on you!!!

    The wife…

  2. I can see why you are proud of being a Canadian. Lovely place. I was surprised to see some of the musicians on your list. It appears talent abounds too! Glad you kept Beebs off the list, although my daughter adores him. She even made me watch the movie. I don’t admit that often.

  3. Dude! You’re missing half of history here.
    – Paul Anka
    – Guy Lombardo
    – Don Messer
    – Glenn Gould
    – La Bolduc (learn your history, darn you)

    And where are…
    – Philosopher Kings?
    – Moxy Fruvous? (Hee hee – had to add them. Comes from years of listening to their version of Oh! Canada…)

    And ahem – pardon me as I add representation from the Rebellious Province.
    – Arcade Fire
    – Oscar Peterson
    – Eric Lapointe
    – Simple Plan
    – (I could go on with bands like Mes Aieux, Garou and Malajube, but that would be unfair.)

    And some of those Atlantic type folks.
    – Rita McNeill
    – Loreena MacKinnett
    – Great Big Sea
    – The Irish Rovers (…you’d think they were Irish…)
    – The Rankin Family
    – Roch Voisine

  4. I know I missed a ton…I limited myself to 144! But I’ll agree, I could have put Loreena MacKinnett on there, as well as Oscar Peterson (totally forgot him), Simple Plan, Glenn Gould, Guy Lombardo and Paul Anka (though I’ll never forgive him for “Havin’ My Baby”). But there’s a few I left off simply because I can’t stand the music…Philosopher Kings, Moxy Fruvous, Arcade Fire, Eata Bigmeal…sorry, Rita MacNeil, Great Big Sea and the Rankin Family. If they made me indifferent, or yawn, or gnash my teeth, they were off the list.

    And yes, I was shocked to find out the Irish Rovers were Canadian…who’da thunk it?

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