SEPTEMBER 16, 2009

Canadian Americanism
       Thereís nothing like being proudly Canadian American. Or is there?
       Last weekend I attended what I thought were going to be truly Canadian events. I was in Toronto for Canadaís Walk of Fame and in Vancouver for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. Yet, at both functions there was an underlying tone: Americans.
       In Toronto, we were honouring several celebrities that donít spend much time in the country anymore, yet say they are proudly Canadian and thrilled to get tributes in the land in which they were born.
       Howie Mandel was one of the Walk of Fame inductees this year. He told me, ďIf I had my druthers, I never would have left. I got opportunities presented to me in other places.Ē And opportunities he couldnít refuse, apparently. Money talks.
       And, at the CCMAs, the big talk of Canadaís music was the big American guests that stopped by, including Martina McBride and Reba McEntire. It was said this is a testament to Canada that such legends would grace the show with their appearance. Is that what reaffirms success? Attention from Americans?
       I talked with several Canadian country music stars on the red carpet and almost every one of them praised McEntire for being there. My jaw almost dropped. In one breath they are talking about how our country rocks, and then itís such an honour to have Americans paying attention. Focus on people in Canada paying attention, or is this just another example of how people feel the need to go elsewhere for success?
       But, itís not all cynical thoughts today. Anne Murray was honoured with a star and decades ago she refused to move to the United States because she didnít feel it would be true to her roots. Thatís my kind of gal! Sheís always been my favourite.
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