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Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is a non-profit organization that honours Canadian songs and songwriters. Music publisher Frank Davies founded the bilingual organization in 1998; its inaugural induction ceremony took place in 2003. Winners are inducted in one of three categories: songwriters; songs; and special achievement, for those who have made a significant contribution to the development and recognition of Canadian songs and songwriters. The CSHF has inducted over 60 songwriters and more than 170 songs since its inception.

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Duff Roman

David Mostoway (a.k.a. Duff Roman and Digger Dave), CM, radio DJ and executive, independent record label owner, producer (born 1938 in Swift Current, SK). Duff Roman started in radio right out of high school before moving to Toronto in 1959. From 1965 to 2009, he worked for CHUM Limited, first as a popular DJ and then as an influential executive. He also founded Roman Records — which released music by David Clayton-Thomas, Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks, and The Paupers — and was the founding president of FACTOR in 1982. A Member of the Order of Canada, Roman has been inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.

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Charlie Major

Charlie Major, singer, songwriter (born 31 December 1954 in Aylmer, QC). Charlie Major is a journeyman singer-songwriter who achieved breakthrough success after years of hardscrabble persistence. His roots-rock tales of working-class life are cut from an aspirational blue-collar cloth similar to that of John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. He has had 10 singles hit No. 1 on the Canadian country chart, including six from his debut album, The Other Side (1993), which was certified double platinum in Canada. He has won three Juno Awards for Country Male Vocalist of the Year and seven Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards. He was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2019.

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Rough Trade

Rough Trade was a trailblazing, politically charged, punk-inspired New Wave rock band. It was formed in Toronto in 1975 by multi-instrumentalist Kevan Staples and Manchester-born, Scarborough-raised vocalist Carole Pope. Notorious for the openly sexual nature of their songs and the burlesque theatricality of their live performances — which often included bondage and sexual satire — the band was one of the first mainstream musical acts to include explicitly gay and lesbian references. They enjoyed critical and commercial success in the early 1980s and won four Juno Awards before disbanding in 1986. They are perhaps best known for the risqué, controversial hit single “High School Confidential,” which was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in September 2020.

Editorial

Vancouver Feature: Doors Open into an Exotic Cave

To find sophisticated entertainment in old Vancouver you had to go underground, into a grotto where stalactites hung from the ceiling and pirate’s gold shimmered in darkly lit corners. The Cave Supper Club hosted the world’s most famous entertainers and beautiful showgirls for 44 years. It was the rare place in subdued Vancouver to go out on a weekend evening for some risqué entertainment and exotic drinks.

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Kaytranada

Louis Kevin Celestin (a.k.a. Kaytranada), DJ, record producer (born 25 August 1992 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti). Kaytranada is a Haitian-born, Montreal-raised DJ and record producer. His electronic dance music draws on a wide variety of musical styles — including Afrobeat, hip-hop, funk, soul and R&B — and has been both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Kaytranada has won three Juno Awards, two Grammy Awards and the 2016 Polaris Music Prize, among other honours. He also performs with his brother Louis-Philippe (a.k.a. Lou Phelps) as the hip-hop duo The Celestics.

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Kim Mitchell

Joseph Kim Mitchell, guitarist, singer, songwriter, broadcaster (born 10 July 1952 in Sarnia, Ontario). A talented, imaginative rock guitarist and a pop songwriter of considerable craft, Kim Mitchell has been a fixture on the Canadian music scene since the mid-1970s. He began as the manic front man of the quirky, progressive hard rock band Max Webster, and gained prominence as a solo artist in the 1980s with radio-friendly rock anthems such as “Go for Soda,” “Patio Lanterns” and “Rock N Roll Duty.” He later established himself as a popular radio personality and a mainstay on the summer festival circuit. He has sold more than 1.5 million records in Canada, earned 17 Juno nominations and won three Juno Awards. He was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2020.

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Maestro Fresh Wes

Wesley Williams (a.k.a. Maestro Fresh Wes, Maestro), rapper, actor, author, motivational speaker (born 31 March 1968 in Toronto, ON). A pioneering hip-hop recording artist, Maestro Fresh Wes is often regarded as the “godfather of Canadian hip hop.” His debut album, Symphony in Effect (1989), was the first album by a Black Canadian artist to be certified platinum in Canada. It yielded the hit single “Let Your Backbone Slide,” one of the most successful and influential Canadian songs of all time. In 2019, it became the first rap song to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Maestro has been nominated for 13 Juno Awards and won two, including the inaugural award for Rap Recording of the Year in 1991. He was named No. 1 on CBC Music’s 2013 list of the greatest Canadian rappers. He has become a successful actor, author and motivational speaker while remaining a prominent figure in Canadian hip hop.

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Alessia Cara

Alessia Caracciolo, singer, songwriter (born 11 July 1996 in Brampton, Ontario). Alessia Cara is a pop music singer-songwriter. She has sold more than 11 million records in the United States and more than 285,000 in Canada since debuting in 2015. She is perhaps best known for her songs “Here” and “Scars to Your Beautiful.” She was named the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2016 Juno Awards and the Best New Artist at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Her debut album Know-It-All (2015) won the 2017 Juno Award for Pop Album of the Year. Her album The Pains of Growing (2018) earned her 2020 Juno Awards for Album of the Year, Pop Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. Cara has also won a SOCAN Award, two MTV Video Music Awards and three Canadian Radio Music Awards.

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Massey Hall

Known as “Canada’s Carnegie Hall,” Massey Hall is Canada’s oldest and most venerated concert hall. It opened in 1894 and was the home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir until 1982. The site of many historic events and performances, it has been repeatedly voted Canada’s best live music venue over 1,500 seats and venue of the year by Canadian music industry associations. It is a National Historic Site and a heritage site in the City of Toronto. It was closed between 2 July 2018 and 24 November 2021 to allow for a $184-million renovation.

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Jully Black

Jully Ann Inderia Gordon, singer, songwriter, actor, TV personality (born 8 November 1977 in Toronto, ON). Jully Black is known as “Canada’s Queen of R&B.” In 2013, CBC Music named her one of the 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever. Her rich and soulful alto voice has drawn comparisons to Tina Turner and Amy Winehouse. She has won a Juno Award from 10 nominations and has written songs for Destiny’s Child, Nas, Sean Paul and Missy Elliott, among others. She also started her own recording, management and publishing company, and her own fitness enterprise. Black has appeared onstage in productions of trey anthony’s play Da Kink in My Hair and Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s musical Caroline, or Change; the latter earned Black a 2020 Dora Award. She is also a popular television and radio host and panel guest. She was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2021.

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Shawn Mendes

Shawn Peter Raul Mendes, singer, songwriter, model, mental health advocate (born 8 August 1998 in Pickering, ON). Pop phenom Shawn Mendes followed in the footsteps of earlier Canadian pop music star Justin Bieber, building a following online in his teens before signing with a major label. Mendes is the only artist to have four No. 1 singles on the Adult Pop Songs chart before the age of 20. Released when he was 16, his first full-length studio album, Handwritten (2015), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and quickly went platinum in the US. In fact, his first four albums all debuted at No. 1. Together they have sold more than 4 million copies in the US, while Mendes’s singles have sold more than 13 million copies. He has received 13 Juno Awards and 20 SOCAN Awards, as well as three Grammy Award nominations.

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Hedley (band)

Vancouver-based pop-punk band Hedley shot to stardom in 2005 after lead singer Jacob Hoggard finished third on Canadian Idol in 2004. The band won two Juno Awards from more than 30 nominations, sold nearly 1 million albums and 4 million singles, and had a record 16 videos hit No. 1 on the MuchMusic Countdown chart. In 2014, Billboard called Hedley Canada’s “king of all-format airplay.” However, the band was blacklisted from Canadian radio in February 2018 following multiple allegations of sexual assault against the band members dating back to 2005. Hoggard was arrested and charged with sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault in July 2018. In June 2022, he was found guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm and was also charged with a new count of sexual assault.

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54-40

Alternative rock band 54-40 rose from the Vancouver punk scene of the late 1970s to achieve mainstream success in Canada in the late 1980s and the 1990s. They have had four platinum albums and one gold album and have been nominated for eight Juno Awards. They are perhaps best known for the hit singles “I Go Blind,” “Baby Ran,” “One Day in Your Life,” “Nice to Luv You,” “She La,” “Ocean Pearl” and “Since When,” among others. The band has been inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. “I Go Blind” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2021.

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Peter Goddard

Peter Darwin Goddard, music writer (born 13 July 1943 in Toronto, ON; died 23 March 2022 in Toronto). B MUS (Toronto) 1967, M MUS (Toronto) 1971. 

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Brian Ahern

Brian Ahern, CM, guitarist, record producer (born 1945 in Halifax, NS). Brian Ahern started out on CBC-TV’s Singalong Jubilee before becoming an acclaimed country music producer. He was a key figure in the careers of Anne Murray and Emmylou Harris, and was married to the latter from 1977 to 1984. From the mid-1970s to the late 2000s, Ahern produced more than 40 gold and platinum records for such artists as Johnny Cash, George Jones, Bette Midler, Rodney Crowell, Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson. Ahern has won four Juno Awards and one Grammy Award. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

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Andy Kim

Andy Kim (born Andrew Youakim; also known as Baron Longfellow), songwriter, singer (born 5 December 1946 or 1952 in Montreal, QC). Andy Kim is one of Canada’s most successful singer-songwriters. He started out as a teenager writing songs for a television show and thus drew comparisons to Paul Anka and Neil Diamond. His hugely successfully pop hits — such as “Sugar, Sugar,” “Rock Me Gently,” “Baby I love You” and “How’d We Ever Get This Way” — have sold more than 30 million copies. He was the inaugural winner of the Juno Award for Top Male Vocalist in 1970 and enjoyed moderate success as Baron Longfellow in the 1980s and 1990s. Kim has been inducted into the Billboard Hit Parade Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (for “Sugar, Sugar”), Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

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Cowboy Junkies

The Cowboy Junkies are an alternative country and folk-rock band based in Toronto. Their breakthrough album, The Trinity Session (1988), established their signature sound, a melancholic mix of folk and blues marked by stripped-down instrumentation and lead singer Margo Timmins’s hushed yet haunting vocals. One of the most popular Canadian bands of the late 1980s and 1990s, the Cowboy Junkies have had two platinum and three gold albums in Canada and have sold more than 5 million albums worldwide. They have been inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

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Canadian Music Hall of Fame

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978 by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). It honours individuals or groups that have made an outstanding contribution to the international recognition of Canadian artists and music. For many years, a sole inductee was presented annually at the Juno Awards. Since 2019, multiple inductees have also been presented annually at a separate ceremony at the National Music Centre in Calgary.