This week, de Havilland’s Mosquito buzzes once more, Molson makes us question our national identity, and we consider whether Leonard Cohen looks good as Al Pacino.
This week, discover the pint-sized piano prodigy from B.C., the underground railroad on the Pacific frontier and some rare photos of Louis Riel.
Canada’s folk hero Stompin’ Tom Connors has died at age 77. His songs of Canadian life, from Sudbury nickel miners to P.E.I. potato farmers and the joys of a good snowmobile, paint a picture of his great love for Canada. In his last letter to fans, Stompin’ Tom credits Canada’s beauty and inspiration as the source “driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world.” Rest in Peace, Tom. [StompinTom]
Get ready for a space jam! For the first time ever, music has been made from space. Astronaut Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson sang live together – Hadfield from the International Space Station and Robertson and a youth choir from Toronto. Their song, I.S.S. (‘Is Somebody Singing)’, written by Hadfield and Robertson, premiered on Friday morning. Watch it above. It’s pretty catchy! [CBC]
On February 4, the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing Canadian pennies, ending 155 years of penny production in Canada. The rising cost of producing pennies relative to its value was the main reason for its phaseout. With the penny gone, the country is estimated to save $11 million annually. This week’s Canada Soup bids farewell with a roundup of news and opinion on the diminutive, soon-to-be-extinct one-cent piece.
The Quebec film Rebelle (War Witch) has been nominated for an Oscar in the best foreign-language film category! Directed by Montreal’s Kim Nguyen, it tells the moving and heartbreaking story of child soldiers in Africa. [Montreal Gazette]
The Grammy Awards will honour legendary Toronto pianist Glenn Gould with a lifetime achievement award this February! With four Grammys to his name, the famously eccentric Gould was one of the 20th century’s most celebrated classical pianists. [Globe & Mail]
Early last week, the Telegraph newspaper published a playful article, saying that the new Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, is an anomaly for being both cosmopolitan and educated as well as a proud “maple syrup-drinking, poutine-loving, moose-spotting, beer-swilling ice hockey fan” from a country “affectionately known as America’s attic.” It then went on to detail Canadians’ many accomplishments, concluding that Canada is “more than a land of Mounties and maple syrup” and encouraging Canadians to be more out and proud about their country. In response, Michael Babad of the Globe and Mail published his own rebuttal, listing 15 things Britons should know about Canada. Things get interesting. Who’s passive-aggressive swipe was better? [Telegraph]
Yippee ki-yay! Summer is upon us, and in Canada that means festivals, parades, cabin dwelling, hiking, biking, barbecues, cool lemonade and outdoors sporting events like the Calgary Stampede, which turns 100 this year! Although the stampede may seem quintessentially Canadian, it was conceived by an American vaudeville performer, Guy Weadick, who convinced four wealthy Calgarians to invest in the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” And here’s his dream realized and going strong 100 years later! [Toronto Star]
With Air Canada staff staging a wildcat strike today (including a horrific incident involving a man spitting into a baggage handler’s face) the CBC reviews the ailing airline’s history of labour strife. [CBC]
In a major legal decision, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that judges who do not consider lenient or creative sentences for aboriginal offenders are violating the law. The decision has been so polarizing (and energizing) that the Globe & Mail article, posted today, has received over 900 comments, some insightful, others deeply offensive. The crux of the matter seems to be this: how far does historic disadvantage (including institutionalized racism and oppression) extend?