my friends m and m and I joke about what if canada’s national anthem was spelled “oh canada!” instead of “o canada.” as in, “oh canada, i didn’t see you there, when did you get here.” “oh canada, i didn’t see you pass me on your snow board.” or “oh canada, how nice of your to host the olympics.” i watched the opening ceremonies last night and felt a twinge of national pride. let me be clear, i didn’t feel national pride during the nelly furtado bryan adams duet. that was a hot mess. especially the horrible lip-syncing. but i did feel proud when k.d. lang stepped up and killed that leonard cohen song (although what was up with the david byrne suit?).
i’ve had some other nice reuniting feelings about canada lately. i was driving around winnipeg today, listening to CBC, and something felt so right about spending this year getting to know this place again. and it is really nice that part of that involves getting to know the music and arts of this country again. try as i did to not let that stuff drift away when i moved to the states, it inevitably did. mamasquared and r did a little gig in winnipeg this week. a haiti relief show. and besides mama and r being lovely on stage, i got to see a couple of other awesome native winnipeg musicians (check them out – john k samson of the weakenthans and daniel ROA). seeing live music is just one of the best things.
i’ve been taking a class on music management. canada has some great government funding for the arts (even despite having a conservative government right now.) thanks to some of this funding, there is an awesome local non-profit called Manitoba Music that supports and nurtures musicians. they have a new program to support artist managers. it’s just five classes, but i am learning a ton. i am particularly excited about the marketing aspect of the work and can’t wait to experiment with the band. all this is to say that canada is pretty awesome in many ways. don’t get me wrong, we still got issues (like bryan adams and nelly furtado duets), but there are some things that we do pretty well.
i’ve been booking flights, hotels, van rentals, pricing tour buses, talking to venues, and folding band t-shirts. only six days until we hit the road and so much to do still. i can hear the band in the basement practicing – some bass, a little tambourine, accordion, harmonica, and some sweet-sounding voices. oh canada, i could drink a case of you.