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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Roller Derby comes to Canada

In Business, Canada, Entertainment, The World Comes To Toronto, Toronto, YouTube on December 2, 2011 at 23:47

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Starting on Thursday and continuing until Sunday, the Roller Derby World Cup is being held at Downsview Park in Toronto.

The National Post was nice enough to provide a graphical break down of what this is all about.



William Shatner’s Rescue 911 redux

In Canada, Customer Service, Entertainment, Gravy, Loss of Life, YouTube on November 18, 2011 at 13:42

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Only William Shatner can keep you safe from TURKEY FIRE!  Thanks State Farm


Canada’s Walk Fame, eh!

In Canada, Celeb, Entertainment, Movies, Music, People that Matter, Sports, The CBC, Women, YouTube on October 2, 2011 at 10:07

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Never a bad thing showing off our Canadian all stars.  This year a songwriter, an astronaut, a tennis player, and some brown guy that will “Put a hurt on you”.  The Toronto Star’s Bruce DeMara has a nice little write up below, but here’s some video of this year sidewalk winner.


read the full article here–eclectic-mix-joins-walk-of-fame

Roberta Bondar

Birthplace: Sault Ste. Marie

Best known for: Becoming the first Canadian woman in space and the world’s first neurologist in space when she travelled aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1992. More recently, she’s become known as a landscape photographer. She was named among North America’s best explorers by Time magazine in 2003.

Burton Cummings

Birthplace: Winnipeg

Best known for: Co-founding the Guess Who, and for writing or co-writing numerous Canadian and international hits, including “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “Undun,” “Hand Me Down World,” “Clap for the Wolfman” and, of course, “American Woman,” which was named the greatest Canadian single of all time in the book 100 Top Canadian Singles.

Daniel Nestor

Birthplace: Belgrade, Yugoslavia and raised in Toronto

Best known for: Being the third most decorated doubles champion in tennis history. He won 73 ATP Tour doubles titles. He’s also the only player ever to win all four Grand Slams, all of the Masters Series events, the year-end Masters Cup and Olympic Gold (for Canada in Sydney) in doubles.

Sandra Oh

Birthplace: Ottawa

Best known for: Her role as the driven Dr. Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, for which she has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Golden Globe and five Emmy nominations. She also had a significant part in the 2004 movie Sideways. She first came to prominence in Canada playing a teenage prostitute in The Diary of Evelyn Lau in 1997.

Russell Peters

Birthplace: Toronto

Best known for: His live comedy shows and YouTube clips, specializing in sometimes raunchy humour that skewers all ethnic groups, including his own Anglo-Indian background. He was on Forbes magazine’s list of top-earning comedians in 2009 and 2010. And his autobiography, Call Me Russell, was a bestseller.

Mordecai Richler

Birthplace: Montreal

Best known for: His novels, including The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, which became a 1974 movie starring Richard Dreyfuss; St. Urbain’s Horsemen, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award; and Barney’s Version, which won the Giller Prize for Fiction and became a Genie- and Golden Globe-winning movie (also nominated for one Oscar) starring Paul Giamatti.


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was written by a Canadian…really?!

In Business, Canada, Entertainment, Have to Laugh, Media, Vancouver, Video Games on August 11, 2011 at 11:52

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Will alright that might be a tad false.  The late Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge, England but one of his famous props will have a bunch of Canadians bringing it to life.  The Vancouver based indie developer Hothead Games is producing a Hitchhikers Guide app for iOS devices later this fall.


Babel Fish

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

If you enjoyed the show, you know that the guide was the real star of it.  The full press release is below.  Remember “Don’t Panic”


VANCOUVER – August 10, 2011
Hothead Games today announced that an interactive edition of the beloved The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will be released this fall for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy app is an authentic experience, allowing fans to feel like they’re holding the device that Douglas Adams described over thirty years ago. Users can learn all about the importance of towels, vogons, Milliways, the Babel Fish, a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, how to survive in space, and more, all in this friendly app.

“We really focused on taking existing Guide entries and presenting them in a new, interactive way,” commented Joel DeYoung, Hothead Producer. “We have so much respect for the original that we had to stay true to the style of Douglas Adams, and deliver an app that feels familiar to fans, but updated for today’s devices.”
For more about the upcoming The Hichhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy app, visit

For more about Hothead Games, visit:


The Top 100 Canadian Singles by Bob Mersereau

In Authors, Business, Canada, East Coast, Entertainment, Media, Music, People that Matter, The CBC, Writers on September 30, 2010 at 08:37

Bob Mersereau also wrote The Top 100 Canadian Albums in 2007.

You can purchase either book

here and


Music Monday: The Power of Coke’s Wavin’ Flag

In Business, Canada, Celeb, Entertainment, Media, Money, Music, Sports, The Social, The World, TIA (This Is Africa), YouTube on July 19, 2010 at 18:21

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This 32 year old music mystro may have created one of the greatest collaboration between a soft drink maker and artist since MJ!  Well maybe not that big but Coca Cola is a very happy partner.  K’naan is pretty happy as well.

Celebration Mix

K’Naan ft. Nancy Ajram

K’Naan ft. David Bisbal


You can read Duane Stanford’s full article in Bloomberg Businessweek here

Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner

Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop music

Music industry executives have been making an unusual pilgrimage to Coca-Cola’s (KO) Atlanta headquarters, a telling measure of the company’s successful World Cup soccer marketing blitz. They want to learn how Coke turned a song called Wavin’ Flag by a little-known Somali-Canadian hip-hop artist into a World Cup anthem and No. 1 iTunes hit in 17 countries in less than a year. “They are getting on planes from New York, from U.K., from Los Angeles,” says Joe Belliotti, Coke’s director of global entertainment. “Word of mouth is a great thing in the music industry.”…

…Coke’s marketers liked Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop musicthe singer and his multinational upbringing as well as Wavin’ Flag‘s sweeping melody and hopeful chorus: “When I get older, I will be stronger. They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving’ flag.” Darker verses detailing K’naan’s struggle as a child in Somalia and his “fighting to eat” wouldn’t work. So K’naan (full name Keinan Abdi Warsame) offered to write a version of Wavin’ Flag with lyrics more befitting a soccer tournament.

K’naan and his producers added a bridge with Coke’s five-note melody and pumped up the African vibe with chanting and drums. The lyrics now talked of champions taking the field and fans rejoicing in “the beautiful game.” K’naan also recorded versions of the song with pop stars ranging from the Black Eyed Peas’ to Japan’s AI and Spain’s David Bisbal, broadening its appeal.

Although financial details are confidential, Coca-Cola co-owns the rights to its Celebration Mix of Wavin’ Flag along with K’naan and his record company, owned by Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. Coke, which split the cost to tour K’naan around the world, is plowing the unexpected profits from the sale of Wavin’ Flag downloads into its six-year, $30 million Replenish Africa Initiative, which seeks to provide clean water and better sanitation. The continent figures big in Coke’s long-term growth plans, where water scarcity is an immediate problem as well as a long-term threat to the company’s beverage production.

Music Mondays: She’s back! Andrea Gauster

In Entertainment, Media, Music on July 12, 2010 at 18:54

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Apologies for getting this out so late.  It was year plus 6 days ago that Andrea Gauster plotted out a wonderful CD entitled Reverie.  She gave thanks by writing a wonderful post to her album on it’s birthday.

“So Happy Birthday Reverie. And thank you for connecting me with such beautiful listeners/fans/friends.  Although the upcoming album may be shiny and new, you will always hold a very special place in my heart.”

You can read the full post at Bibbity Bop here.  Andrea is a truly remarkable singer songwriter and I’m looking forward to her new album, which I hear, is coming out very soon.  If you’re a fan or new to this Canadian artist please take a listen and a view below

Andrea Gauster “In the Studio” – Part 1 from Andrea Gauster on Vimeo.

Andrea Gauster “In the Studio” – Part 2 from Andrea Gauster on Vimeo.

Without gushing to much, this is an artist you’ll want to keep an eye and ear on.


Again if you are new to Andre Gauster you can always take a listen on CBC Radio3 here

To purchase songs from Reverie on iTunes just click on the above image

Polaris = Canadian Music

In Canada, Entertainment, Media, Music, The CBC, The World Comes To Toronto, YouTube on June 17, 2010 at 15:08

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It’s back!!! The Polaris Music Prize for 2010 is back.  Today you’ll see the long list of 40 nominees that are vying for their spot on short list.  From the Polaris website, this is how they come up with the list.

“By now most people who follow Polaris know that there is no submission process for Polaris. So how the heck does anyone ever get nominated if artists or their representatives can’t actually submit their recording for consideration?

Good question.

Allow us to explain.

First, we select a jury. These opinionated recruits cover all sorts of music for all kinds of media. Our selectors work on a volunteer basis and come from daily, weekly and monthly printed things, websites, blogs, TV, and commercial, campus and CBC radio. Why media? They lack industry bias, so their picks are not sullied by direct financial relations with the artists. For the most part, they source and cover local music with authority. And they listen to more Canadian music than even your above-average music fan, so they’re in more of a position to judge what releases are Polaris-worthy.

Once recruited, they then join an email discussion group open only to them. Discussion in this space rages all year with arguments for and against voting for various records. Jury members can endorse or “suggest” certain titles to the rest of the group. The suggested recordings are then made available for download by the jury at large. This list of suggested titles presents each record in an equal setting, from the biggest major label release to the most local of independents.

When the time comes (and for 2010 that time is now), jury members cast their vote via a secure online ballot. They pick 5 titles. A number 1 pick gets 5 points. A number 2 pick gets 4 points. And so on. The jury is free to pick any title they like as long as it falls under the Polaris eligibility (see our rules and regs page on this site) and was released between June 1 of the previous year and May 31 of the current. They are not required to pick from the List of Suggestions. The 40 records with the highest point scores become the Polaris Long List.”

The Short List of 10 will be presented on July 6.

“In August, Polaris selects 11 members of the jury to decide the winner. We call this the Grand Jury. This is the most challenging part of what we do. It is important to us that each record on the Short List gets equal representation from the Grand Jury, so we look at the ballots to ensure no prejudice for or against any one title. Then we try and give equal representation to region and media type, remembering to be mindful of gender and language inclusiveness. A jury member can sit on the Grand Jury only once, so there are no repeaters. At this time, we send each of these Grand Jury members a copy all the Short Listed records. They are required to listen to each of them, repeatedly.”

Winners will be announced at the Polaris gala on Monday, September 20.

“The night before our gala, these Grand Jury members are convened for dinner where they discuss their likes and dislikes on the Short List.

On the night of the gala (September 20 this year), the Grand Jury gathers with Polaris Jury moderator Liisa Ladouceur (who does not vote) at the site of the event to vote for the winner, in three rounds. Once again, the number 1 choice is worth 5 points, etc. The first round eliminates the bottom five point-getters. The Grand Jury spends the next hour or so discussing the remaining titles. They eliminate two more. They then discuss the top 3 and cast one more ballot to decide the winner. Ballots are anonymous and Grand Jury members do not know the results until we finally announce the winner to the gala and the world at the end of the night.

Once the winner is announced, all rejoice and drunkenness and arguments ensue. And one lucky artist gets a cheque for $20,000.”

Here is who the winners of the last 4 Polaris Music Prize

2006 ~ Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds

2007 ~ Patrick Watson’s Close to Paradise

2008 ~ Caribou’s Andorra

2009 ~ Fucked Up’s The Chemistry Of Common Life


Now that you know how it works, here is the 2010 Polaris Long List

Ladies and Gentlemen your 2010 Polaris Long List June 16 2010
Here are the big 40, revealed lovingly today at 1:30 via @polarisprize on the Twitter. And at The Drake Sky Yard by Grant Lawrence, with assists to Jill Barber, D-Sisive, Elliott BROOD and Damian from 2009 winners Fucked Up. They will be narrowed to 10 and announced July 6, time TBA.

Now watch & listen!

Apollo Ghosts – Mount Benson (Vancouver)

Bahamas – Pink Strat (Toronto)

The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Montréal)

Blue Rodeo – The Things We Left Behind (Toronto)

Brasstronaut – Mt. Chimaera (Vancouver)

Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record (Toronto)

Basia Bulat – Heart Of My Own (London)

By Divine Right – Mutant Message (Toronto)

Caribou – Swim (Dundas)

Jason Collett – Rat A Tat Tat (Toronto)

Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II) (Toronto)

Amelia Curran – Hunter Hunter (Halifax)

Fred Fortin – Plastrer La Lune (Montréal)

Frog Eyes – Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph (Victoria)

Hannah Georgas – This Is Good (Vancouver)

Ghostkeeper – Ghostkeeper (Calgary)

Holy Fuck – Latin (Toronto)

Karkwa – Les Chemins De Verre (Montréal)

LeE HARVeY OsMOND – A Quiet Evil (Hamilton)

Greg MacPherson – Mr. Invitation (Winnipeg)

Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice (Vancouver)

Misteur Valaire – Golden Bombay (Montréal)

The New Pornographers – Together (Vancouver)

Owen Pallett – Heartland (Toronto)

Plants And Animals – La La Land (Montréal)

Radio Radio – Belmundo Regal (Montréal)

Justin Rutledge – The Early Widows (Toronto)

The Sadies – Darker Circles (Toronto)

Shad – TSOL (London)

Elizabeth Shepherd – Heavy Falls The Night (Toronto)

The Slew – 100% (Montréal)

Meaghan Smith – The Cricket’s Orchestra (London)

South Rakkas Crew – The Stimulus Package (Toronto)

Tegan And Sara – Sainthood (Vancouver)

The Wooden Sky – If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone (Toronto)

Hawksley Workman – Meat (Huntsville)

You Say Party! We Say Die! – XXXX (Vancouver)

Young Galaxy – Invisible Republic (Montréal)

Yukon Blonde – Yukon Blonde (Vancouver)

Zeus – Say Us (Toronto)

Workman and the Social Scene

In Canada, Entertainment, Me Myself & I, Music, The CBC, The World Comes To Toronto, Toronto, YouTube on May 3, 2010 at 15:44

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I’ve been meaning to write this for almost 2 weeks now.  Just wanted to give a a heads up to an amazing singer/songwriter/entertainer that I got to see at Massey Hall.  Hawksley Workman.  I was an alright fan of his.  I had a few of CD’s and enjoyed the banter that I witnessed between Workman and Jian Ghomeshi on CBC’s Q.

But after seeing him on stage..for a THREE HOUR show, while he was dead sick, well he IS the man.  The show rocked.  A good mix of old, new and epic beats on the drums.  Workman, worked his ass off.

Hawksley, I hope you’re feeling better my friend.  Bloody Epic show.  If you haven’t already, buy Meat and go online to pick up Milk at Six Shooter Records.

and on the flip side of a one man army…

Broken Social Scene is releasing their new album Forgiveness Rock Record tomorrow and from what I’ve already heard, Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning may have done the impossible.  Created an even better album than what they’ve already done.  Feist, Amy Millan and Emily Haines all make vocal hello’s on the album with another 26 band members to boot.  Broken Social Scene is doing a fantastic 4 show concert on May 9th.

Sunday May 9th
2pm – Criminal Records (493 Queen Street West) –
4pm – Rotate This (801 Queen Street West) –
6pm – Soundscapes (572 College Street) –
8pm – Sonic Boom (512 Bloor Street West) –

If you’re around, have some time on your hands, and enjoy these guys and girls, stop on bye, if you can get in.


You can read NPR’s full article and hear Forgiveness Rock Record from start to finish here

Broken Social Scene: Leaner Lineup, Same Big Sound

The Canadian rock collective Broken Social Scene has been around for a decade now. In that time, its members have gone from ambitious upstarts to influential veterans of the Toronto music scene. A few years back, it wasn’t unusual to see as many as 15 players on stage at one of their concerts, and the group’s constantly fluctuating lineup has featured the likes of Feist and members of both Metric andStars. And, while it’s since scaled down, you wouldn’t notice it given the energy level of Broken Social Scene’s new album, Forgiveness Rock Record.

Smaller And More Stable

Canning and Drew say when they approached writing the songs for Forgiveness Rock Record, they were interested in focusing on a smaller, more stable unit, one they’d been touring with since 2008.

“In the past, we’ve had sort of a fluctuating lineup,” Canning says. “With the other records, you had different lineups writing different songs. This was really the six-piece that wrote the map that would become this album.”

“It just became apparent that Charles Spearin, Andrew Whiteman, Justin Peroff, Sam Goldberg, Brendan and myself were becoming this tight-knit band, and we toured all over the world in 2008, and it just came together,” Drew adds. “We just knew we had to continue on without relying on a lot of those people anymore. So it just really made us put a concentrated effort into relying on the six of us.”

You can read Jane Stevenson’s full article in here

Massey Hall, Toronto – April 24, 2010

TORONTO – Much like the two distinctly different albums he released this year – Meat, in the traditional way, and Milk, as song-by-song digital downloads over several months – Hawksley Workman’s wildly diverse sound was on full display Saturday night as the singer-songwriter-guitaristcame home to play Massey Hall.

Actually, it was more like multiple musical personalities, as the 35-year-old Hunstville, Ont., native was hard to pin down in general.

His quirky cabaret-pop meets glam-rock has plenty of pomp-prog-nerd rock leanings too with a healthy dose of storytelling as Workman’s stream-of-consciousness, funny ramblings between songs took up as much time as the music itself over the course of a two-and-a-hour set.

And Workman even changed clothes halfway through.

He opened the show dressed down in a blazer and baggy jeans before donning a black toque and a violet, tie-dyed, stud-embossed jumpsuit with his entire band – Todd Lumley a.k.a. Mr. Lonely on keyboards, bassist Derrick Brady, violinist-guitarist Jesse Zubot and drummer Brad Kilpatrick – also changing into jumpsuits too.

“We were working on my Chevelle,” said Workman by way of explanation. “She’s a sweet ride.”

Canadians Blast into SXSW

In Canada, Entertainment, Music, South of the boarder, The CBC on March 18, 2010 at 10:05

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It’s Austin, TX, but the paint is red and white with maple leaves all over.    The fifth annual Canada Blast has marched its CanCon way into the 2010 edition of South by South West Music and more festival.  Starting yesterday you can listen to live streaming on SIRIUS Canada stations CBC Radio 3 channel 86 and French language Bande à Part channel 87.  You can get more info at CBC Radio 3.  You can find a full list of Canadian playing SXSW here.

Here’s a taste of who’s rocking Canadian Blast

The Besnard Lake

Yes Say Party! We Say Die!

Timber Timbre

Melissa McClelland


You read Ben Rayner’s full article from the Toronto Star here

Canadian rock start of Austin festival

The event, situated smack-dab in the middle of the action across from the Austin Convention Centre, has become a mainstay of the SXSW diet, growing quietly in size and profile alongside the overall Canadian presence in Texas at this time of year. In 2009, there were more than 130 homegrown acts at SXSW and that figure has grown again this year.

Canada is as established in Austin as a prolific exporter of in-demand indie talent as the U.K. or Sweden or Australia. Toronto’s Metric, for instance, was Tuesday night’s headliner for one of two major SXSW pre-opening parties, playing to an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 1,000 that hung on every note from its latest album,Fantasies.

Meanwhile, as the Canadian Blast party opened its gates on Wednesday and performers such as Plants and Animals, Born Ruffians, Justin Rutledge and the Beauties took their turns onstage, no less an obscure CanCon figure than Nardwuar the Human Serviette was opening his video vault – which included his latest encounter with Snoop Dogg, who microwaves a joint on camera – during an afternoon talk at the Convention Centre.