Tag Archives: Canadian

Tale of the Toonie Tails

Did you see the news?  A new 2015 Canadian Toonie was released in January, it’s a new two dollar coin. Have you gotten it yet in any change you’ve received?  The commemorative two-dollar coin features the 200th anniversary of the birth of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald on one side, and, as always, Queen Elizabeth II on the other. Is anyone else wondering what “heads” and “tails” is on this coin which features two heads? Which side do you think is the head or tails?  And, would you look at Queen Elizabeth? She’s resembling actress and Dame Helen Mirren more and more these days!  Sir MacDonald still looks like his colonial self.  Well, to be sure the Queen is not the backside of anything. So, heads you get the beer and tails I’ll get the chips.

You can obtain these coins at the Canadian Mint.

So what is “heads” and what is “tails” then? The Mint has the answer.  “The side which features the effigy of Her Majesty is called the ‘obverse’ in technical terms and has always been considered the ‘heads’ side of a coin,” a Mint spokesperson wrote in an email.  “The opposite side, officially called the ‘reverse,’ is always considered the tails side as it features a design different from the bust of the Canadian sovereign.”

The coin’s reverse image was designed by Canadian artist Glen Green and is inspired by archival photographs of Sir John A. Macdonald. Limited to a mintage of five million coins, Canadians can start looking for this coin in their change, attend coin exchanges at special events in select locations across Canada and at the Mint’s Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver boutiques, or obtain limited quantities through an online coin exchange at www.mint.ca/canada150 (limited to Canada only).

To further commemorate this milestone anniversary, related numismatic coins are also available to order now on www.mint.ca/canada150 and will be available at Mint boutiques as of January 13th:

•  A $10 silver coin with selective gold plating featuring an original
portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald by Canadian artist Joel Kimmel ($69.95);
•  A $20 ‎silver coin featuring a striking portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald
    by Canadian artist William Lazos, against the backdrop of the original
Parliament Buildings ($89.95); and
•  A $100 14-karat gold coin featuring an original portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald
by Glen Green along with one of Macdonald’s achievements,
the completion of the Canadian Pacific railway ($599.95).

So there you have it.

Soulful Sweet 16-Nikki W (Part 2)

nikki w2Nikki Whitehead (NIKKI W) is a London, Ontario based singer, songwriter and pop recording artist. This is Canadian Made Audio’s second podcast of a four part series about Nikki W, Take a few minutes to hear the perspective of a very honest sweet 16 year-old, right here.  This London, Ontario high school student explains in this personal interview about the trials of coping with the stresses of being at the bottom of the food chain, when she entered eight grade. Her powerful, yet vulnerable voice touches on love, doubt, sex, self-harm, and alienation – all themes common to Nikki and her peers.

“Transparent Hands” is her impressive debut single. Her songwriting is strong, with lyrics like, “Don’t know who to trust and who to doubt” and “Someone like you is much too wonderful, lovely for someone as sad as me.”  She voices her generation’s anxiety with honesty and poignancy, as can be seen in her video “Transparent Hands.”

This 16 year-old Canadian artist’s full length Extended Play (EP) album is called “Sad Generation,”, (produced by Gavin Brow) and it is out now.

She’s been compared to British pop singer Adele, with the soulful way she sings her own compositions.  Her big voice also harkens back to the day of women with guitars like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks or Patti Smith.

She speaks on behalf of “gypsies, wallflowers, and those without a voice” about love, doubt, sex, self-harm, and alienation. Nikki describes her music as “pop music with cuts, tattoos, and honesty. Nikki projects an emotional honesty and wisdom beyond her years.

If by some small chance you missed Part I of this series of interview series with Nikki W, the following is a link to that first interview.

Diana Panton is Worth Knowing!

At the 57th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night was all eyes and ears via the U.S. music industry, and the night belonged to Londoner Sam Smith. But, we want to let you know there’s s another soulful music mover that the larger international music world is noticing! Do you know Diana Panton? CanadianMade Audio interviews, Diana Panton, a superb Canadian jazz vocalist who has quietly become one of the brightest lights on the jazz scene today. Listen here to our interview. Her work has been consistently praised by listeners and music critics alike for her ethereal vocals, exceptional song selection and heartfelt renditions. “Her diaphanous vocal sound never insists and her high speed vibrato is like the beat of a hummingbird’s heart – natural, untainted and pure.” (Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, Wholenote Magazine.

Jazz, Canadian Jazz Singer, Diana Panton, Canadian Made, Made in Canada

Diana Panton Photo by Keith Penner

Her keen aesthetic sense has attracted the attention of some of the jazz world’s most respected masters. When Order of Canada and legendary multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson first heard Panton sing at age 19, he recommended she audition for the reputed jazz workshop at the Banff Center for the Arts (Canada). There, she studied under Norma Winstone (and in subsequent visits, Jay Clayton and Sheila Jordan). “When the great singer Sheila Jordan said Diana Panton ‘sounds like the sweetest bird you’ll ever hear’, she helped define some of the ephemeral delicacy that marks Panton as unique.” (Stuart Broomer, Toronto Life).

Before recording her first album, Panton completed an Honours Master’s degree in French literature from McMaster University, and fulfilled a teaching engagement at the University of Paris (France), followed by a position as a French Sessional Lecturer at McMaster University (Canada). She teaches French and Art at Westdale Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario. (Canada).

Panton started her music career as a member of the Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, until 2002After hearing her perform with this band, veteran multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson invited her to attend the Banff Centre, where he was a faculty member. This led to Thompson’s collaboration on Panton’s albums, a decade later. When the time finally arrived to go into the studio, national award-winning guitarist Reg Schwager was invited to join Don Thompson for some stellar accompaniment behind Panton’s pure vocals.

The late great Montreal jazz critic Len Dobbin called “…yesterday perhaps” one of the finest debut CDs he had heard in years! It landed Diana on the covers of VIEW and NOW Magazine and the album made NOW’s TOP 10 Discs of the Year. The album was also awarded a Silver Disc Award upon its release in Japan in 2011. 

Her impressive catalog of internationally acclaimed albums have garnered numerous honors, including a second Silver Disc Award in Japan, three JUNO nominations, seven Hamilton Music Awards, a host of National Jazz Award nominations, Canadian and American Independent Music Award nominations.

Her sophomore album, “if the moon turns green …” was the first place jury-selection to perform at the Jazz à Juan Revelations where she was voted Première Dauphine by the Juan public. Most recently, she was named one of Canada’s TOP 5 Jazz Vocalists by CBC radio host Tim Tamashiro.
Her second album, If the Moon Turns Green, received a nomination for the Juno Awards of 2009 in the category of Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Her fourth and fifth albums, To Brazil With Love and Christmas Kiss, were nominated in the same category for the Juno Awards of 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Photo of Diana Panton by Jose Crespo

On all six albums, Panton is accompanied by Don Thompson on piano and bass and Reg Schwager on guitar. Thompson also plays vibraphone on Pink, To Brazil With Love, and Christmas Kiss. On Pink and Christmas Kiss, she is also accompanied by Guido Basso on flugelhorn, trumpet and cornet. On To Brazil With Love, she is also accompanied by Maninho Costa on vocals, drums and percussion, Bill McBirnie on flute, Kiki Misumi on cello and Silas Silva on drums and percussion. Harrison Kennedy sings on one track of Christmas Kiss and one on Red.

The version of Pink released in Japan includes one bonus track not found on the Canadian version of this album.  In addition to the above albums issued under her name, Panton sings on the 2012 Peter Appleyard album, Sophisticated Ladies.

Visit her website at http://dianapanton.com and if you have any Canadian Made stories please contact us at canmadeprod@gmail.com

Nikki Whitehead Shares Her Soul & Music (Part 1)

In our latest podcast, Canadian Made Audio interviews sixteen year-old London, Ontario based singer, songwriter and pop recording artist Nikki Whitehead (NIKKI W).  She’s been reviewed by music press here and abroad and shares her insights, in this 4 part interview series. She explains to Canadian Made Audio’s Producer Rita Rich why she named her first EP (extended play) collection of songs, “Sad Generation.”

Rich say, “It’s not all doom and gloom.  But, if you’ve ever wondered what’s up with some of your friends take a listen and click here and tune into this latest podcast story,  plus you will love Nikki’s voice. She is quickly being compared to the likes of Lana Del Ray and Metric. Canadians have much to be proud of when it comes to the creativity of its young adults. But, growing up in Canada, like everyplace else, requires bravery and a willingness to embrace the truth. She also has a big voice that harkens back to the day of women with guitars like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks or Patti Smith. Nikki projects an emotional honesty and wisdom beyond her years. Like every preceding generation, hers is filled with distinct loneliness and fear. Her powerful, yet vulnerable voice touches on love, doubt, sex, self-harm, and alienation – all themes common to Nikki and her peers.

Nikki W

“I think I’m an old soul,” she says. “I’ve always been mature for my age. And I get what it’s like to be the wallflower. I know what all that stuff feels like, so with this album I’m trying to show people that it’s okay to be different.” “I was eleven when I joined my first band” she continues. “I was really into Joan Jett and AC/DC and Metallica. Then I got into punk, like The Sex Pistols and The Ramones.  And then it all kinda just morphed from there, and I found my own sound.” She co-wrote her self-titled EP with producer Gavin Brown, who has worked with Barenaked Ladies, Metric, and Lady Gaga. Although working with someone with Brown’s credentials was at first intimidating, Nikki credits him with allowing her to grow through the songwriting and recording process. “I’ve been in and out of studios since I was 12,” says Nikki.  “It’s kind of like a second home to me”. Her booking agent can be reached via an email to Jeff Rogers at jeff@rraammpp.com. She is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and has a website.

Jazz Pianist David Braid

David Braid-Improvisation Artist-Pianist-CanadianJuno Award winning Jazz Pianist David Braid chatted with CanadianMade Audio Productions about growing up in Hamilton and when he became obsessed with music and composition.  You can simple click the link below and listen to the entire story we produced as part of our CanadianMade Productions podcast which is heard on board 80% of Air Canada’s flights, right here.

Hailed by the Canadian press as “A jazz genius to call our own” (Macleans Magazine), two-time Juno Award winning pianist David Braid has performed concerts of his original music and improvisations across The United States, Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Australia, Brazil and Canada.  Combining harmonies fundamental to European classical music and the spontaneity of American jazz, Braid’s fusion of art music engages audiences with a style that has been described as “refreshingly uncategorizable” (Paris Transatlantic), “brilliant” (Montreal Gazette), “wide-ranging, exploratory” (South China Morning Post), “une force poétique” (Le Soleil) and “hauntingly beautiful” (The Globe & Mail.)

Recently awarded Jazz Pianist of the Year in Canada, Braid is also a recipient of SOCAN Composer of the Year, recognizing his output of over one hundred works including compositions for solo piano, jazz ensembles chamber groups, and symphony orchestras. He has released nine recordings, garnering six Juno nominations and two Juno awards; he is also a multi-National Jazz Award Winner and a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ “JazzID Award”.

 

See Our Big Canadian Made Product List

October 2, 2014 – This newly revised Canadian Made Product List can be downloaded as a PDF document. Please share this link with your friends in advance of their holiday shopping.