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The Tragically Hip has heavily influenced Canadians ever since the band first broke the scene 30 years ago, and The Hip's music continues to influence Canadians of all ages to this day. Canadian music has become synonymous with The Tragically Hip. In addition to their music being adored across the country, each of their 14 studio albums is laced with lyrics that pay homage to Canada.
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On the night of Friday, August 12th, at the Air Canada Centre, I saw one of my all-time favourite bands play for the last time ever. I warned my friend I would probably cry at the end of the show, but it only took the first song for my eyes to well up with tears. the feeling was very surreal, as the circumstances were not of your typical farewell tour.
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While more fashionable bands have faded into musical footnotes, the Hip has enjoyed a 32-year career and domestic deification. But now the part of their name that has the most resonance as the Hip rocks its way across the nation one final time is "tragically." Not that you could tell from the surface euphoria onstage and in the stands as Gord Downie's incurable brain cancer took a backseat for a couple hours of communal rock catharsis during the band's 25-song concert at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
As Gord Downie closed the show with kisses to the cheeks of his bandmates and nods of gratitude to the 20,000 fans in Vancouver, the courage the lead singer displayed overwhelmed me. It saddened me, too. Downie, my cultural hero, is battling the same awful disease -- glioblastoma multiforme -- that took the life of my wife, Julia Pelish-Brijbassi, 137 days ago.
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Can one summer go by without a mention of Woodstock? Not in my summer it doesn't. I grew up near the site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair across the river on the Canadian side of the 1960s. In a perfect world, as August 1969 approached, I would have been holding a much prized $18 advance ticket to the Festival.
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Today's ticket purchasing landscape is a classic example of how technology can disrupt business and create regulatory and ethical grey areas -- and decision-makers can't keep up with the disruption or implement solutions fast enough.
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Canadian country singer/songwriter Rod Black is no neophyte to the country music scene. Black was born in Winnipeg with country music in his veins where he grew up listening to classic country stars such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.
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Ruth Berhe is an unassuming 21-year-old Canadian from Edmonton, who started her career by crooning six-second clips on Vine. She sat down to chat about the thrill ride of going from relative anonymity, to being signed by Columbia Records and having one of the hottest songs on the charts.
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Push harder, run faster and feel that stretch.
Although we have a long way to go in the fight for equality, it's cities like Toronto who pave the way for acceptance and support of LGBT expression. This support is reflected in the long history of supporting queer music.
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Aboriginal Day Live, an annual celebration of Canada's National Aboriginal Day and the summer solstice, has been delighting audiences since 2007. The event features some of the most accomplished Aboriginal musicians, including award-winning and up-and-coming artists.
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An openly gay frontman, an Armenian violinist, a drummer, guitarists, poets, and composers -- Mashrou' Leila is either nothing like you'd expect of Lebanese musicians, or everything. And they're playing in Toronto for Pride this year.
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When it's showtime and we go live, we're ready to follow the master plan put together by our incredible production crew, but life doesn't always follow the exact plan... and sometimes that can lead to magical moments.
A vote by Toronto's Economic Development Committee has sent Toronto staff off to study the potential addition of a night mayor into the city's cadre of public officials. This is just the latest in a series of decisions as Toronto endeavours to refine its image as a Music City and its interactions with actors in Toronto's internationally-recognized music scene.