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A Canadian Canon

July 1, 2011

Our country is full of talented artists from coast-to-coast, so in celebration of this great nation’s anniversary, I’ve highlighted some Canadian artists I’ve been diggin’ for the past few weeks.

Canadian Writers I’m feeling:

Crabwise to the Hounds – Jeremy Dodds – Poetry
A sparkling collection of poems hiking through forests of unnameable beasts, ventriloquist dummies, matadors, acupuncturists, sea monsters and Glen Gould-ian meditations. A real cover-to-cover read.

Butcher’s Block – Deanna Fong – Poetry
A treasure of a book, found on Bloor street in a box, Fong takes my three favorite things: food, sex and poetry (with dashes of violence) and gives them space to argue, fight and bleed into each other. Coupled with gorgeous illustrations by Bilyana Ilievska.

Holla!: An anthology of Womenz Wordz – Various Artists – Poetry
A journey through a soundscape of words, beats, songs and stories produced by young women from the Womenz Wordz Writing Circle and Women Moving Forward program. I’m cheating because my poems are also featured in this collection, but biases aside, a fantastic read of fresh new poetic voices. Edited by Wendy “Motion” Braithwaite.

Canadian Musicians I’ve been jamming to:

Reflect – Toronto – R&B
Smooth, sexy, intellectual and humble, Reflect distills honesty and intensity into his lyrics over bubbly R&B vibes. More importantly, Reflect’s music serves as a ferocious catalyst for change; he writes for people transitioning from better to worse, from worse to better and all the nuances in between. Recommended tracks: Are you Lovin’ Me Lately, Another Shot

The Fugitives – Vancouver – Folk
With choral vocals, finger-snaps, spoken word lyrics and an accordian to boot, The Fugitives are far from your typical folk band. They are truly poets with instruments, not to understate their brilliant musicality, as every song recites, excites and ignites a story. Recommended tracks: Breaking Promises, Start a War.

KO – Toronto – Hip-hop
Elevating hip-hop to new heights, KO fuses acoustic guitar flavours, old school nostalgia and contagious beats in all his songs. Drawing off his experiences, his lyrics ring true times two. Recommended tracks: Capable, Radio

Canadian Visual Artists that catch my eye:

Roadsworth – Montreal – Graffitti Artist
Pushing the boundaries of his art and his city, Roadsworth is a master of transforming his environment and encouraging people to interact with the urban space. Thought-provoking, controversial, loved and hated by citizens of all ages, Roadsworth rocks the foundation of graffiti in Canada and globally. 

  Quentin Vercetty – Toronto- Painter
  After his recent debut art exhibit, 21 by 21, Quentin  Vercetty has proven  to be one of the country’s most  promising artists. His portraits, with their strong hues and even stronger  personalities, capture notable and new faces who inspire and evoke  positive change. 

Edward Burtynsky – Port Dalhousie – Photographer
Revealing landscapes as something foreign, wonderful, shocking and disturbing, Burtynsky’s work traces how deep the human footprint is on our planet. His interests hover over quarries, piles of coffee cups, tire dumps, greenhouses, shipsbreakers and landfills as each photo captures unexpected beauty.

Happy Canada Day!

Let me know what Canadian writers, musicians, visual artists you’re feeling. Over and out!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2012 4:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Writing in a Tree and commented:

    Once I’m safe in Montreal I’ll write an updated version, but for now, here’s last year’s Canadian Canon. Happy 145, we love you!


  1. Happy Blog-iversary: Year Two! « Writing in a Tree

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