Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day, Hosers!

To all you Canucks out there, Happy Canada Day!

I tried, as I do every year, to watch the CBC's live broadcast of the festivities from Parliament Hill. I never manage to watch the whole thing.

This year's show started a bit late (big surprise) and started off as it usually does: National Anthem and BS speeches. It was clear that Steven Harper, Canada's so-called Prime Minister, didn't want to be there (big surprise).

After the usual ethnic opening number, they had Sarah McLachlan perform "Building a Mystery," which was great. Only, they had her alone on stage with her guitar. They couldn't get her any background singers? A drummer? Some additional guitarists or a bassist? For Sarah McLachlan? On Canada Day?

It just seemed so cheap, so last-minute. Disrespectful, even, to Sarah, to the all the people who gathered upon Parliament Hill, and (sure, why not) to Canada. When the camera zoomed out, all you saw was a massive empty stage with one person on it. Now I know that she doesn't need anyone else on stage to make great music, but it really would have been nicer had the spectacle been more elaborate and grandiose. It is Canada Day, after all. I mean, last night I went to the opening concert of the Montreal Jazz Festival: a free outdoor concert with Stevie Wonder. The Montreal Jazz Fest is a staple of the city's summer, happening every year for 30 years. But it's not a giant celebration of our country at its capital, it's just some fun downtown for a few days. But did they just toss Stevie on stage by himself with an instrument? (Then again, Stevie drew a larger crowd than Canada Day ever does.) The Ottawa stage has drums, a piano, and other instruments there and people to play them. It would have said a lot more about Canada if, while Sarah was singing and playing her guitar, she was accompanied by, say, a fiddler from the Maritimes, a pianist from the West Coast, some background singers from the Prairies, and a bassist from Quebec. I'm just saying.

After her performance, there was a male pole dancer, and some weird Quebec crap (this is coming from a Quebecer, mind you), followed by some more weird Quebec crap. I then left. When I came back, it seemed like some random people from the audience found their way on stage and had begun singing.

Needless to say, the TV soon turned off and I went back to shooting a comic.

I'll try again next year.

Anyway, I hope you follow hosers can get out there and enjoy the day, eh? It's looking like a beauty so far.

Long Live The Great White North!

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