MPs and Music! Chagger, O’Reagan and Others Join Canadian Music Industry For a Celebration of Song

Photos by Kamara Morozuk / Feautre image by Dave Chan

Though the JUNOs have come and gone this year, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Canadian Music Publishers Association had another musical gift for Ottawa last night with a celebration of songwriting in Canada.

The Honorable Bardish Chagger. Photo by Dave Chan

Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot and Gord Downie all topped a list of the 25 Best Canadian Songwriters last year by the CBC. In a piece published in June, the network's editorial staff wrote: “We’ve said it so many times that it’s become cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true: the greatest songwriters in the world are Canadian.”

The list, also featuring Drake, Stan Rogers and Bryan Adams, to name a few, was just scratching the surface of Canadian talent. An official post-JUNO event was held at the Riviera on Sparks Street to further accentuate these accolades by looking at our talented composers from the past and present while also looking ahead to the future by debuting a new song written with the input from Canadians all across the country.

Government House Leader and Small Business and Tourism Minister, the Honorable Bardish Chagger was on hand to speak glowingly of the songs that have defined our country while also touching upon the sometimes hidden talent behind them. In a social media post after the event, Chagger said the night was one “filled with friends, laughter, and fantastic music.”

Other music lovers in Parliament present were Liberal MPs Seamus O’Regan and Roger Cuzner as well as the Honorable Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons.

CMPA president Vince Degiorgio hosted the event. As an award-winning music publisher and songwriter himself, he spoke from a unique leading by example viewpoint in an opening speech that was a perfect extension to an interview he gave the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency late last year.   

“We want our writers to see the world, we don’t just want them to go to LA,” he said in the piece adding that:

“We as publishers have to start shouting about how good we are and if I can be the person who holds up the megaphone for one of my colleagues, I want to be that person.”

Performances were given by francophone artist and songwriter Sally Folk and the rocking rootsy trio from Nova Scotia, Port Cities. The intimate event had attendees tapping their fit while sipping on cocktails, some talking about their own favorite Canadian songs and what they meant to them.

“Music is the signature of our country,” said Bloc Notes Music publisher Diane Pinet.

The evening’s highlight was a collaboration between Justin Beiber’s multi-platinum, award winning producer Rob Wells and the song writing talents of Naomi Shobha. Both put the word out to all Canadians asking them to share what Canada meant to them. The result was the crafting of a song they are calling the Canada 150 Anthem, a composition that not only honors this historic year in our country but the music that helped shape it. The song received a much deserved ovation.