CANO

CANO. Franco-Ontarian folk-pop collective, active 1975-85. The founding musicians were members of the Coopérative des artistes du Nouvel Ontario (CANO), an agricultural and artistic commune established in Sudbury in 1970. The group was formed by the singers-guitarists André Paiement and Rachel Paiement, the violinist Wasyl Kohut, the guitarists Marcel Aymar and David Burt, the pianist Mike Kendel, the bassist John Doerr and the drummer Mike Dasti. André Paiement died in 1978, Kohut in 1981. The early years of the band's star-crossed history were documented by the NFB film Cano, Notes on a Collective Experience.

CANO was initially popular with francophone audiences on the strength of its spirited performances and its A&M LPs Tous dans l'même bateau (SP 9024) and Au nord de notre vie (SP 9028), which featured both traditional songs (including 'Frère Jacques') and original material (mostly by the Paiements and Aymar, eg the minor hit 'Le vieux Médéric'). With Eclipse (1978, SP 9033) CANO began to record in English; on Rendezvous (1979, SP 9037), only one of eight songs was in French. A fifth LP, Spirit of the North (SP 9040), a compilation issued in 1980, traced CANO's integration of pop and jazz influences into what was originally a folk-based style.

Following the departure of Rachel Paiement in 1980, the remaining musicians recorded Camouflage (1981, SP 9060) under the name Masque. Now based in Toronto, they were intermittently active as Project Cano or, again, CANO, playing folk festivals and, in 1984, touring Ontario as part of a troupe celebrating the province's bicentenary. Aymar and Burt, with the violinist Ben Mink, the singer Mary Lou Zahalan, and others, recorded a final LP, Visible (Ready LR-054), in 1984. Concerts followed in Ontario and Quebec, and at Expo 85 in Japan.