Call For Audition! CBC Cover Me Canada

Are you an unsigned musician over 12years old?
CBC has issued a call for online performance auditions for a new music series, COVER ME CANADA, airing this fall on CBC-TV.
Unsigned musicians and groups are asked to submit video performances, by July 8, 2011, of their cover versions of one of the following Canadian classics: Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot), Run To You (Bryan Adams), Life is a Highway (Tom Cochrane) and Black Velvet (Alannah Myles) to

From the audition pool, the most talented unsigned musicians and groups will be selected to compete as finalists on COVER ME CANADA. The finalists will compete live on television, to win the hearts of the nation and the opportunity of a lifetime: a $100,000 cash prize and a recording contract for their first original single to be released by Universal Music Canada.

Kirstine Stewart, executive vice-president, English Services, CBC says, “COVER ME CANADA is the opportunity of a lifetime for aspiring Canadian artists. We look forward to showcasing the brightest musical talent Canada has to offer.”

The host and judges for COVER ME CANADA will be announced in the coming weeks. Artists, producers and the biggest names in Canadian music will be part of the excitement, with competitors getting to perform some of the greatest songs in the Canadian songbook. COVER ME CANADA is produced by Temple Street Productions based on a format co-created by 11 Entertainment and CBC.

What On Weekend – June 23 – 25, 2011

Summer’s officially here…let’s get the party started!

Thursday, June 23rd
90Six Dance Party featuring DJ Lady Miss Kier (from Deee-Lite), since I’m here in Toronto this looks like it’ll be on the agenda.
– back home in Vancouver there’s a great benefit event; heroes with heART: Katarina Thorsen’s Interactive Portrait Event!

Friday, June 24th
– In Vancouver you’ve got to check out Big Freedia, the Queen of Sissy Bounce at Post Modern
– R&B diva Rihanna is playing the first of two nights at Rogers Arena
– Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche plays the Biltmore Cabaret
– The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival kicks off 10 days of great events around town 
– Afterwork head to Canvas Lounge for another VICE Friday
– Celebrating it’s 25th Year the Toronto Jazz Festival kicks off with free concert by Aretha Franklin
Saturday, June 25th
– Rock trio Blonde Redhead play the Vogue Theatre
-It’s Queer Bash: Abba Hits vs Muppet Blitz at The Cobalt
– American Celtic Punk Band (how’s that for a description?!) Dropkick Murphys are at Commodore Ballroom
– At Five-Sixty, honour the 42nd anniversary of the riots with Stonewall Celebration!!!

Vibrant Colours at Kensington Market, Toronto

Brightly Coloured Vintage Clothing

Tucked away between Toronto’s Chinatown and Little Italy lies one of the oldest and most visited neighbourhoods.  Designated a National Historic Site in 2006,  Kensington Market is a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood.  As immigrants have come and gone from the ‘hood, they’ve each left a mark by the variety of goods and services available.
Fruit and vegetable stands line

Fruits and Herbs line the street stalls

 up alongside European cheese shops tucked in between butchers and bakers.  A long time tailor and haberdashery shop is near a Middle Eastern take-away, a tattoo parlour and an Army Surplus store. The partially outdoor market is a rainbow of colours and scents as

Colours are everywhere

vintage garments hang out beside new pieces from local designers which are nearby to a lively Caribbean Cafe. 

New designs from The Fairies Pyjamas

Each trip to Kensington Market brings out a new tapestry of this vibrant neighbourhood, stop by and paint your own picture.

Nineties Nostalgia with Evan & Julianna – Lee’s Tavern

Evan Dando & Julianna Hatfield – Lee’s Palace – NXNE 2011

Evan Dando & Julianna Hatfield

Nineties grunge kids and slackers mingled with hipsters at Lee’s Palace in Toronto for Evan Dando and Julianna Hatfield’s first gig together for eight years.  The last visit saw Julianna backing up Evan’s set but this show was an equal-billing acoustic set.

Alternating between each other’s tunes, the show was remeniscent of ‘folk singers around a campfire’ than ‘rock icons at an classic club’.  As with most North by Northeast Festival shows, there was a lot of competition during each show but this was a critics and, from the busy room, it was a fan fave as well.

Julianna Hatfield & Evan Dando

The audience hung on every lyric and comment by the two artists, only breaking for rapturous applause during hits like “Into Your Arms” and “It’s About Time”.  Julianna also took the time to introduce some new tracks from her forthcoming fan-funded album.
The crowd was definitely not ready for the set to end but Julianna noted that they had to keep to the Festival schedule so had to leave us wanting more after a fast but satisfying 40 minutes. Hopefully, they don’t leave it another 8 years to work together!

BC Lions Host Rugby Sevens Half-Time Game

This week, on June 22nd, during the BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders game at Empire Field, the BC Lions is proudly showcasing the exciting sport of rugby sevens and supporting the Abbotsford International Sevens Event by hosting a half-time game between the Dog River Howlers and the Pacific Tyee -a select team of Canadian National Sevens Team Members. Phil Mack, Canada’s Sevens Player of the Year and National Team Captain, and the legendary Waisale Serevi, commonly referred to as the ‘King of Sevens’ will be joining in this historic game.

The Abbotsford International Sevens is a sport and entertainment festival complimented with exhibitions, live entertainment, renowned DJ’s, the Russell Club House, an ethnic food fair, a family fun zone and a week of after-parties.

The Abbotsford International Sevens will be taking place on July 23, 2011. For more information, visit , follow @Abbotsford7s on Twitter or join their growing fanbase on Facebook.

Top 5 Ways To Fill Your Day At NXNE Festival

Since I’m in Toronto for North by Northeast Interactive, Film & Music Festival I thought I’d share the experience, with a few fun ways to fill your day at the Fest.

1. Learning; some great topics are covered in the hundreds of Interactive sessions.
2. Relaxing; the rooftop pool at host hotel Hyatt Regency on King is a great way to recover from the night before’s late night.
3. Parties; music organizations, labels, production companies and major brands hold non-NXNE events and parties at great spaces & venues all over town
4. Music; the largest component of the Fest is the music – hundreds of shows across the city including free shows every night at Yonge-Dundas Square. It’s a great chance to discover that new buzz band or unsigned gem
5. Eating; wrap up a late night with some amazing (and cheap) pizza in Little Italy. The next morning start the day with some tasty crepes and fresh fruit at Cora’s near the Hyatt and you’re ready to start all over again!

Polaris Music Prize – Long List Announced

Polaris Music Prize logoFirst awarded in 2006, the Polaris Music Prize is annually awarded to the best Canadian full-length album.  Chosen by a jury of 200 members of the Canadian music media the 2011 Long List was recently announced at The Drake Hotel in Toronto.  From this long list of 40 nominees the jury will now choose the top ten albums to form the Short List, to be announced July 6, 2011.  The ultimate winner will be selected by the 11 member Grand Jury and announced at a Gala presentation on September 19th.

The 2011 Long List is:

• Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
• Austra – Feel It Break
• Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
• Braids – Native Speaker
• Buck 65 – 20 Odd Years
• Louise Burns – Mellow Drama
• D-Sisive – Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye
• The Dears – Degeneration Street
• Destroyer – Kaputt
• Diamond Rings – Special Affections
• Dirty Beaches – Badlands
• Luke Doucet and The White Falcon – Steel City Trawler
• Eternia & MoSS – At Last
• Galaxie – Tigre Et Diesel
• Jenn Grant – Honeymoon Punch
• Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
• Hey Rosetta! – Seeds
• Hooded Fang – Album
• Imaginary Cities – Temporary Resident
• Land Of Talk – Cloak and Cipher
  • Little Scream – The Golden Record
• The Luyas – Too Beautiful To Work
• Malajube – La Caverne
• Miracle Fortress – Was I The Wave?
• One Hundred Dollars – Songs Of Man
• Doug Paisley – Constant Companion
• PS I Love You – Meet Me At The Muster Station
• Daniel Romano – Sleep Beneath The Willow
• The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing
• Ron Sexsmith – Long Player Late Bloomer
• Shotgun Jimmie – Transistor Sister
• Sloan – The Double Cross
• Frederick Squire – March 12
• Stars – The Five Ghosts
• Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
• Timber Timbre – Creep On Creepin’ On
• The Weeknd – House Of Balloons
• Women – Public Strain
• Neil Young – Le Noise
• Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting