Last night 20,000 students, parents and guardians filled the Air Canada Centre for the evening programming of We Day, We Day Family.
We witnessed inspiring stories and performances from a wide variety of people including the Barenaked Ladies, Chris Hadfield, Rick Hanson, Gord Downie, Lily Singh, Paula Abdul, Pearl Wenjack, Hedley, Nelly Furtado and many others!
The focus for the event was to inspire children and their families to make a difference in their family, community, country and world. A wonderful and inspiring event!
On Saturday September 17, 2016, Toronto officially opened up one of its newest parks: Lee Lifeson Art Park. Named after the founding members of the iconic Canadian progressive rock band, Rush, the park is a celebration of the musical contributions of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.
It is now part of music folklore that Lee and Lifeson met in the Willowdale neighbourhood of the former city of North York.
On Saturday, all three members (Neil Peart was absent) received the key to the city by Toronto Mayor John Tory.
All week long, Samsung has been hosting a pop-up activation in downtown Toronto ahead of its latest Galaxy release. I happened to walk by the location yesterday after leaving the Blue Jays game a bit early. You wouldn’t believe what happened next! I literally bumped into Toronto’s own Skratch Bastid playing in front of a small and intimate crowd.
Last night we attended The Tragically Hip’s final Toronto date on their “farewell” Man Machine Poem Tour. It was also the second live rock concert that our (now 10 years old) son, Kahzmir, attended. The first one was on his 8th birthday to see Arcade Fire in Toronto.
It was also the second time (that I can remember) attending the same concert with my brother, Aneez. The first concert was on New Year’s Eve 1985 to see OMD and Thompson Twins at Toronto’s old Maple Leaf Gardens.
The Tragically Hip were never my favourite band. At least not that I can remember. However, they have always been part of my musical appetite since I had my first portable FM radio player. I had purchased this player on Air Canada (or maybe it was WardAir?) coming back from England in the summer of 1989 and would walk to and from Sir John A Macdonald high school in Scarborough. It was a 10 minute walk. And it was on 102.1 and/or 107.1 that I started hearing songs like Blow At High Dough, New Orleans Is Sinking, 38 Years Old, Boots Or Hearts and Trickle Down.
I didn’t know it at the time but Up To Here was most likely the album that made me appreciate the mix of poetry and rock that I came to later appreciate in all of Neil Young’s incarnations.
Since then, the Tragically Hip have always just been there. I never noticed them. I just came to expect them. They were part of rock and roll. They were (and still are) part of Canada.
Although I’ve since “misplaced” my Hip CDs and cassettes, Road Apples was my first Hip album. My favourite tune from that album is Cordelia. I have no clue what the song is about. I love the lyrics and the pulsing beat that overlay the amazing lead and rhythm guitars in Cordelia.
Fully Completely is filled with hit singles. As many as U2’s The Joshua Tree. In my opinion. The next album, Day for Night contains my favourite Hip song, Nautical Disaster. I had the lyrics of this song taped to my desk in my room. And this was before the album was ever released.
It was listening to one of these albums that got me through a serious breakup in university. Thanks for the company, boys.
I’ve been to plenty of big events and concerts. I was in attendance at the Skydome when Canada played the US in World Cup of Baseball. I saw Halladay pitch against Burnett. I’ve been to Metallica and AC/DC concerts. Nothing can compare to the level of noise that the crowd in attendance last night created. NOTHING. It was deafening.
See my photos and videos from my view at the concert HERE.
I played air guitar, fist pumped to songs like Three Pistols and Little Bones, and generally caused Minaz and Kahzmir to look at me and shake their heads. I sang loudly to the hits. I smiled in glee then continued to rock out to songs long forgotten but still tattooed in my internal radio station.
When the show ended with Grace, Too I was caught off guard. There was no warning it was over. I wasn’t ready to say thank you. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
Last night’s concert was not goodbye for me. Music and songs live forever. We know Gord Downie will leave this world sooner rather than later. But the music that he created with his best friends will live on forever.
I’m thankful for the music. I always will be. I’ll always enjoy the music.
I’m thankful for Sunday August 14, 2016.
I’ll see you folks on down the road somewhere – Gord Downie
Here’s the set list from The Tragically Hip’s last show in Toronto:
Toronto Island’s Shadowland Theatre spent the past week in north Scarborough as part of Arts In The Park. From Saturday until the following Friday they held workshops with musicians, makers, performers and Aboriginal teachers. The result was a theatrical parade that told the story of Alexmuir Park.
Today’s episode I speak with Chris Jancelewicz. Chris is a seasoned online entertainment editor with almost a decade of experience in the publishing world. He has run multiple websites, contributed to AOL.com, Huffington Post and now is the National Entertainment Online Reporter at Global News.
Listen to his thoughts on Pokemon Go and the hit Netflix docuseries, Making A Murderer.
Rogers Media recently released number from Numeris that report on TV and radio numbers of the Toronto Blue Jays.
the first 81 games of the season had an average audience of 825,000 viewers on Sportsnet. That’s an increase of 51% over 2015
30 games have been watched by more than one million viewers
When it comes to radio, more listeners are tuning in to Jays coverage this year than last as well: on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in the Toronto market up ratings are up 86% for adults 25 to 54, and 32% for men 25 to 54
The success of the Jays gave Sportsnet a 5.9 audience share with an average audience of 216,000 for the month of June, which translates to a year-over-year increase of 29%.
After more than 30 episodes my podcast, Welcome!, is now out of beta. What does this mean?
Well, before today, the only way to listen to my conversations with some really cool people was through the Girth Radio website, MixCloudor here. As of today, you can now listen to Welcome! on any computer or smartphone from anywhere in the world on your favourite app.
You might be asking yourselves, what do I do now? Great question! If you haven’t done so, download one of the above apps to your smartphone (or computer). Then go to my show (links are provided above) and subscribe/start listening.
I welcome (see what I did there?) all feedback. In fact, it would be amazing if you could comment and leave a rating (the more starts the merrier!) on the app you use to listen to me. You can also comment below.