Canada Day / Memorial Day
Happy Canada Day Weekend !
There is controversy about the day in some communities but Canada Day is the anniversary of only one important national milestone on the way to the country's full independence, namely the joining on July 1, 1867, of the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada into a wider British federation of four provinces ( the colony of Canada being divided into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec upon Confederation )
Most communities across the country will host organized celebrations for Canada Day, typically outdoor public events like parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks, and free musical concerts.
In the province of Newfoundland the day is commemorated as Memorial Day
which has been observed annually since July 1, 1917, to recall the losses of approximately 700 soldiers of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment from the Dominion of Newfoundland at Beaumont-Hamel on the first day of the battle of the Somme during the First World War.
So in respect to the people of Newfoundland I have chosen a video to listen to below from an artist who I am a great admirer of from' The Rock '. His name is Terry Penney and he has written some incredible songs over the years and non more moving than his tributes to the fallen of the two world wars and the impact on the communities of Newfoundland.
Benny Brown by Terry Penney
A true story about young Bertram Brown who left his small town of Laurenceton, Newfoundland and joined the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during WWI. He was tragically killed alongside many other Newfoundlanders at the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont Hamel in France.
Terry is from Lewisporte NL please check out his music he has some excellent release's
one of my favourites being the Album ' The Last Guitar '
Canada Day in Toronto
My friends The Jerry Cans / Pai Gaalaqautikku from Iqaluit are in the City for July 1st hot off the plane from Norway and Iceland where they have been guests of the Canadian Embassy, they are playing Nathan Phillip's Square June 30th and Mel Lastmann Square July 1st. I will get to see them on their extensive tour of Canada as they play the amazing Hillside Festival in Guelph in the middle of July among many others. The fast rising northern stars, create music inspired by their hometown of Iqaluit, Nunavut. With their unique mix of Inuktitut alt-country, throat singing, Celtic tinged fiddle and reggae, the Jerry Cans are a distinctly northern, one-of-a-kind group. The band perform many of their songs in Inuktitut and are passionate about preserving the language even as the north and their home community of Iqaluit evolve.
There is not a better band for the amazing energy and ability to work a crowd than these guys with amazing musicianship, the incredible throat singing of Nancy Mike and one of the best frontmen in the business, Andrew Morrison. I have seen them perform in Canada and Australia, as is the case here, In the land down under they blew the roof off every venue they played, audiences absolutely loved them proving music has no boundaries and I take my hat off to The Jerry Cans for sticking to their Roots.
Check out their tour dates, ways to buy their music and more
Mike Biggar's Summer Road Report
In September I will be interviewing Mike Biggar in Toronto at the end of his Summer Tour. On July 1st that Summer tour kicks off and he is partnering up with Blues & Roots Radio to record a series of Blogs to document his travels. Mike is from Saint John, New Brunswick, on the Bay Of Fundy, Saint John is the oldest incorporated City in Canada.
Mike will showcase Summer life on the road for a Canadian independent artist and invite folks along for the ride with ' Mike Biggar's Summer Road Report ' - a travel blog with videos, photos, and a snootful of summertime hijinks to help capture the adventure of playing festivals, music series, patios and backyard BBQs ..... And what better time to launch than on July 1 - CANADA DAY 150!
You can follow all the fun at:
Follow Mike's Journey This Summer on BluesandRootsradio.com and MikeBiggar.com
Canadian Girl By Bonnie Ste-Croix
Finally I will leave you with the title track from a phenomenal release by an artist who travelled the thirteen provinces of Canada recording a track in each one for her outstanding album ' Canadian Girl '.
It really is a classic cut and deeply rooted Canadian album. Taking her love of Canada on the road, she began her journey in British Columbia and drove with trailer in tow across the nation partnering with Canada’s finest Folk and Roots guest artists including Natalie MacMaster, a “ guest appearance ” from the Six String Nation guitar played by Stephen Fearing, Leela Gilday, The Once, Laura Smith, Catherine MacLellan, Shari Ulrich, Joel Fafard, Kim Beggs, The Inuksuk Drum Dancers and many more.
When asked about how the idea came about Bonnie said, “ I’m originally from Gaspe, lived in Montreal, Banff, and then Vancouver for half my life; and now am back to my East Coast roots and call Halifax home ” she went on to say “ Between all that moving around and travel, I grew attached to so many places, I began feeling like all of Canada was my hometown. I began to think how great it would be to create a musical representation of that to have pieces of it embedded in my musical history through an album.” - Source, Artist Website
I can think of no better way of finishing this weeks blog with the title track and Bonnie's video of her journey along the way, making that incredible journey and equally incredible album must be something she will treasure forever, and knowing the back story and owning a copy of the album have made it very powerful and memorable for me.
Have a great celebration this weekend if you are a Canadian or join us and celebrate anyway even if you are not, we'll just stick another steak on the BBQ !