Canadian Americanism

There’s 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 Canada’s 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 don’t 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, “If I had my druthers, I never would have left. I got opportunities presented to me in other places.” And opportunities he couldn’t refuse, apparently. Money talks.

And, at the CCMAs, the big talk of Canada’s 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 it’s 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, it’s 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 didn’t feel it would be true to her roots. That’s my kind of gal! She’s always been my favourite.

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