Canadian Beats – A Year In Review – 2017

2017 has been a fantastic year for Canadian Beats Media. We’ve continued to grow to over 40 contributors, consisting of both writers and photographers throughout Canada. This year, we introduced a new layout for our website, which was certainly a highlight. We covered multiple festivals and events, Canadian shows and also non-Canadian shows for our Passport feature which kept us busy throughout the year.

We wanted to share some of the highlights of our year with you, so enjoy our Year In Review, and relive all the fun times with us! Stay tuned to Canadian Beats, as we have big plans to make 2018 even better!

Orest Dorosh – Photo: Lindsey Ell at Trackside Festival in London, ON

Favourite Canadian album released this year?
Fast Romantics – American Love

Favourite International release this year?
Sarah Shook – Sidelong

Act you saw the most times this year?
Lisa Leblanc

Best musical discovery you made this year?
Skye Wallace

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?
Juno Awards

Best Canadian show you went to this year?
Nice Horse

Best Passport show you went to this year?
Chris Stapleton

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?
The new website look.

Amanda Hather – Photo: Adyn Townes in Charlottetown, PEI

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

There were so many it’s extremely hard to choose but I would have to be my long-time favourites The East Pointers and their new album What We Leave Behind.

Favourite International release this year?

I don’t think we ever covered him, and I never thought I would ever like his music but Flicker by Niall Horan was absolutely amazing.

Act you saw the most times this year?

I didn’t have the chance to go to many shows but with the ECMAs and his tour, I managed to see Adyn Townes for three amazing shows.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

The 2017 East Coast Music Awards by far. It was one thing for us to be nominated, but an entirely different thing to be there for the entire weekend with the best of the east coast music scene, taking in performances and talking to bands and artists I’ve been fans of for years.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Adyn Townes in Charlottetown, PE. A mix of his new and old material plus an atmosphere of supportive fans, and the chance to finally officially meet him.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

It’s not really new but the “five questions with…” interviews are a quick and easy way to get to know artists and bands.

Marianne MacLean

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Dean Brody’s Bush Party

Favourite International release this year?

Blake Shelton

Act you saw the most times this year?

Dean Brody

Best musical discovery you made this year?

The Barrowdowns

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Dean Brody’s show at the Halifax Casino.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

How much presence it gives so many artists, new ones or others whose careers are exploding. It’s fantastic to see how important they all are to Canadian Beats

Adriana Malinowska – Photo: Iggy Azalea at iHeartRadio WestFest Calgary

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Safe Haven by Ruth B

Favourite International release this year?

Everyday Is Christmas by Sia and Melodrama by Lorde

Act you saw the most times this year?
Ria Mae; second most Hedley

Best musical discovery you made this year?

K.Flay and Noah Cyrus

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

iHeartRadio WestFest!

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Banff Performance in the Park

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Imagine Dragons

Cassandra Popescu – Photo: Alexisonfire at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, ON

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

I’m absolutely in love with The Elwins’ Beauty Community. “Hay! Ya, You” and “Hocus Pocus” get stuck in my head on a daily basis with their catchy hooks and bouncy rhythms. It was released in October so if you’re not already obsessed with it like I am, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Go take a listen before 2017 comes to a close.

Favourite International release this year?

Definitely Paramore’s After Laughter. “Fake Happy” and “26” speak to me on a very personal level and have helped me get through a lot of tough times this year. I like that the songs are vulnerable, and they make me think twice about comparing myself to others. They just remind me that we’re all humans and on different, but similar paths together. Basically, they remind me to be kind to myself and others.

Act you saw the most times this year?

I was lucky enough this year to see lots of amazing artists, so I don’t actually have much overlap. But I know for sure I have seen Featurette, Monowhales, Birds of Bellwoods, and Caren at least twice throughout the year and they’re all some of my favourites.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

I was really happy to discover Emilie & Ogden at Camp Wavelength this year. My favourite song would have to be “White Lies.” Emilie’s delicate vocals and soft harp playing is easy on the ears, while the song lyrics are clever, creative, and punchy. I now know all the words to every song on the album 10,000.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Without a doubt, I had a blast at Festival d’été de Québec in Québec City. It was my first time seeing a festival of that size in such a beautiful city, and just feeling the energy from the thousands of people there was incredible. I never thought I’d get to see The Who live, let alone be in a photo pit shooting their set, so that was a special moment for me.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Alexisonfire was definitely the best show I went to this year. They’re the type of band that I used to listen to growing up, and they’re one of the bands that influenced my decision to work in music. Being in the photo pit for their show was an absolute dream, and I took some of my favourite photos ever there.

Best Passport show you went to this year?

While this doesn’t count as a passport show, it was great to see Massachusetts band A Wilhelm Scream play with The Flatliners at The Opera House. It was my first time shooting at that venue, and I absolutely loved it. The first time I saw A Wilhelm Scream was at Stay Warm Fest, and I took a great jump shot of the frontman, which was one of my “bucketlist” photos. I was excited to see them again and see what kind of shots I’d get from their show, and of course, they put on another unforgettable performance.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

I love the Passport feature that allows us to recognize the touring bands that come in to support the local music scene. When local bands get to open for larger international acts it can be a great step forward for their career, and these shows deserve recognition too. I also love the “Inside the Music” feature because it gives me and our readers a chance to learn more about the fascinating ins and outs of the music industry.

Nicole Wolfe – Photo: Keith Urban at Boots & Hearts

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

I can’t get enough of “Made in the Name of Rock n Roll” by One Bad Son.  This album was my most anticipated release in 2017 and it did not disappoint! I have yet to find a good reason not to play it at full volume.

Favourite International release this year?

“How Did We Get So Dark” by Royal Blood is easily my most favourite international release for 2017.  There is a recent trend of two-member rock bands on the rise both in Canada and internationally but Royal Blood seems to separate themselves from the pack.  After having the chance to catch Royal Blood on stage at Wayhome Music and Arts Festival this year it has added a whole new layer when I listen to this album.

Act you saw the most times this year?

Thankfully I was able to see one of my most favourite live acts perform at least five times in 2017 – River Town Saints! They definitely kept me busy this summer as they toured with the ONtour summer festival that made its way across Ontario.  I’ve been known on more than one occasion to profess my love for their show.  Do yourself a favour, get out to see this incredible band in 2018!

Best musical discovery you made this year?

How do select just one?!  Being a contributor to Canadian Beats allows me to take in so much great new music and I am proud to play a small part in our music scene.  But, keeping on the trend of two-member bands, I was blown away by the immense talent of Crown Lands when I saw them open for One Bad Son in Oshawa this past year.  I am stoked to see where 2018 takes these dudes!

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Boots and Hearts is definitely at the top of my list!  Despite the crazy downpour and weather evacuation and the constant running around to the different stages completely loaded down by my camera gear (which is as entertaining as it sounds!), this festival easily takes the win in this category.  I will never forget running through the thousands of people (again with the running!) with my massive zoom lens to make it in time to catch Keith Urban perform after his show was almost cancelled due to severe weather.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

I will not soon forget Brett Kissel’s “Ice, Snow & 30 Below” tour that took place in early 2017.  I was lucky enough to attend two shows on this tour, but his Barrie show was very special for me.  Kissel was kind enough to invite me on stage to capture him performing a song that had the fans waving their cell phone lights in the air.  It was nothing short of magical.  Thanks for all of the support you continue to give to Canadian Beats, Brett.  We love you for it!

Best Passport show you went to this year?

I recently got to take in Evanescence at the Sony Centre in Toronto as the band tours for their most recent studio release, “Synthesis”.  Evanescence is not the heavy, dark band they used to be in their early days.  Armed with a full orchestra they performed their massive hits and new music with Amy Lee as the central focus for the entire show.  I was brought to tears a few times during this epic show!

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

I love the weekly Spotify playlist that we carefully curate for our listeners.  It brings me joy to be able to select music for our fans to listen to!

Gerrod Harris

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Last Bullet 80-69-64

Favourite International release this year?

Queens Of The Stone Age Villains

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Band Of Rascals

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Myseum Music From People City Series

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Last Bullet 80-69-64 Album release show featuring The Crooked, The Anti-Queens and The Dreamboats, and Return For Refund

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Red Hot Chili Peppers featuring Trombone Shorty

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past few years with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

Passport

Connor Payne – Photo: Neil Osborne of 54-40 at The Commodore Ballroom

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Gord Downie – Introduce Yourself

Favourite International release this year?

John Mellencamp – Sad Clowns & Hillbillies

Act you saw the most times this year?

The Tea Party, twice, I wish it was more.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Rock Ambleside Park music festival

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

The Tea Party #TX20 Commodore Ballroom

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Sting, Commodore Ballroom

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

All Canadian Radio

Tara Thompson – Photo: Adam Baldwin performing with Matt Mays at George Street Festival in St. John’s NL

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Mystery Weekend – Surprise

Silverstein – Dead Reflection

Coldfront – Float Around

Seaway – Vacation

Favourite International release this year?

Sleep On It – Overexposed

Act you saw the most times this year?

I’d say it was probably Waterfront Fire again.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

I guess it’s not a musical discovery per say, and also not Canadian, but I’ve been listening to a ton of Linkin Park since Chester’s passing and I don’t know why it took me so long to get into them.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

The ECMA’s in New Brunswick were a blast for sure! Also huge props to the Iceberg Alley Performance Tent in September, I’ve never seen a 10-day festival run so well, I didn’t hear a single complaint about anything besides people being too busy to go to all of the shows!

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

The Darcys and Arkells at the Iceberg Alley tent in September. I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the last Hey Rosetta! show too and that show was incredible. There were people from all over the country, and even China, at the show and it was unreal, saying goodbye to such a huge band from NL was really emotional, especially when Tim broke down crying at the end 🙁

Best Passport show you went to this year?

I think I only saw Canadians this year.

Taryn McElheran

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Game On – James Barker Band or, Cageless – Hedley

Favourite International release this year?

Too many to pick from! Either Texacoma Shores – Blake Shelton, Divide – Ed Sheeran, or Flicker – Niall Horgan

Act you saw the most times this year?

James Barker Band…it was two…maybe three times?

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Port Cities!

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Boots and Hearts!

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

James Barker Band at The Mississauga Waterfront Festival, Brett Kissel at Trackside Music Fest or Dallas Smith in Peterborough!

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Zac Brown Band at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto or Luke Bryan at Boots and Hearts!

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

I love that we’re primarily Canadian based but also accept some international artists! We stay true to our roots but are still open to exploring new music from all over the world!

B Hartling – Photo: Green Day at Budweiser Stage in Toronto

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Alvvays – Antisocialities – One of my most anticipated albums this year and it did not fail to impress. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting more nostalgic as I get older but 2017 has the year I’ve fallen in love with twee again.

Favourite International release this year?

The National – Sleep Well Beast – My most anticipated album this year bar none. I’ve loved The National for years now and Sleep Well Beat is another masterpiece added to their discography. From the first time I listened to The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness, I was hooked.

Act you saw the most times this year?

Catfish and Bottlemen – Since I moved back to Toronto I’ve been to every show the Bottlemen have played in Toronto and given they are my favourite band it is a tradition I intend to continue.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Daphne and the Mystery Machines – Folk with a side of twee and some of the most powerful yet quirky fem vox around. Also, the name is pretty damn cool.

Best event you attended this year?

Osheaga – Hands down the king of the Canadian festival season and a bucket list event to shoot. It was also a key factor in my new found love of hip-hop.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Arkells & July Talk at the Budweiser Stage – Any time I get to shoot July Talk or Arkells is a good day. When I get to do both in one show… heaven.

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Avatar – Another bucket list shoot. The visuals of the stage show made for one of the funnest shows ever. The fact that I love their music was an added bonus.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

Weekly Beatdown – I love that our readers have a way of getting interactive with us now.

Jenna Melanson – Photo: Arkells at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Ryan Cook – Having A Great Time

Favourite International release this year?

Ed Sheeran – Divide

Act you saw the most times this year?

Arkells. Since it’s the only show I saw this year!

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Kayla Diamond

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Didn’t get to attend any this year.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Again, it would be Arkells, even if it wasn’t the only show I saw this year, I’m confident it would still be my favourite!

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Didn’t go to any Passport shows, but I did see Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls open for Arkells in February and they were absolutely amazing!

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

The new layout is by far my favourite new addition, but also enjoying Weekly Beat Down and Song of the Week!

Zach Cooper – Photo: One Bad Son at Grizfest in Tumbler Ridge, BC

Favorite Canadian album released this year? 

Trust your Gut – Merkules

Favorite International release this year? 

Perception – NF

Act you saw the most times this year? 

I saw those crazy guys in Bleeker a few times this year, Tyler Perkins you still owe me that beer bro

Best musical discovery you made this year? 

Serena Ryder’s song “Got your Number” has been become my new early morning wake up jam.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)? 

Grizfest Music Festival, Tumbler Ridge, BC since I had the privilege has Hosting the show again. Can’t wait for next year!

Best Canadian show you went to this year? 

Sum 41 & Papa Roach, Dawson Creek, BC Encana Events Centre April 12, 2017

Best Passport show you went to this year? 

I didn’t get the chance to cover anybody this year, but let’s see what comes up in 2018!

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition? 

The Passport coverage I think has become one of my favourite additions. I know we started them last year but I think it great where we have the tools to promote not just Canadian artists, but music in general.

Janine Wong – Photo: Valerie June at Edmonton Folk Fest

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Feist – Pleasure

Favourite International release this year?

Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors

Act you saw the most times this year?

Valerie June

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Marlon Williams

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Edmonton Folk Music Festival

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Lemon Bucket Orkestra

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Laura Marling

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

Five Questions With

Bernice Gray

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

River Town Saints  – River Town Saints

Act you saw the most times this year?

Brett Kissel

Best musical discovery you made this year?

James Barker Band

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

CMA Ontario Awards

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Magna Hoedown

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Foreigner

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

New layout!

Heather Young – Photo: Marianas Trench at Calgary Stampede

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

This is always so hard to narrow down because of the abundance of amazing Canadian talent out there. But I think I’d have to say Cageless by Hedley. After being a fan for over twelve years, they never disappoint, and continuously put out fresh and relevant music.

Favourite International release this year?

I’ve been addicted to Brett Young’s album this year. I’m hoping to see him live soon.

Act you saw the most times this year?

It’s always hard to remember all the acts you see over the course of a year when you do what we do. But this year I think I managed to not have any repeats. Either that or I need a better memory.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

I’m constantly finding myself discovering new country music that I become addicted to. But this year I think I was most surprised by The East Pointers during Calgary Folk Fest. They are some insanely talented people.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

I think I’d have to say the Calgary Folk Fest. Not only was it packed full of incredible talent, but the event itself was so well put together. And the experience of the entire weekend was not something I’ll forget.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

This year my focus was mainly festivals, I didn’t get to cover many other shows. But I did, however, manage to see Daniel Wesley, and he is a personal favourite. I try not to miss his shows when they roll into Calgary. He definitely knows how to put on a great show.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

I could never pick a favourite. One of my favourite things about Canadian Beats is that we work really hard to grow at top speed. We are constantly getting better. Every feature we have is amazing, and the people that dedicate so much time to make Canadian Beats what it is are nothing short of superheroes. Every year I am so proud and humbled to be apart of such an amazing team.

Shayla Obrigewitsch – Photo: Ria Mae & Symphony Nova Scotia at Rebecca Cohn in Halifax. Classified joined Ria on stage.

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Lights – Skin & Earth

Favourite International release this year?

Ed Sheeran –  Divide

Act you saw the most times this year?

Ria Mae

Beat musical discovery you made this year?

Port Cities

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

City and Colour’s solo acoustic tour

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Good Charlotte

Melissa Wiseman

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Before we begin, it should be noted that I am super indecisive and trying to decide my favourite Canadian release is next to impossible. There have been some great releases from some of my favorite artists: Hedley – Cageless, Alert the Medic – Let Them Have Their Fun, Gord Downie – Introduce Yerself, Matt Mays – Once Upon a Hell of a Time, and I am sure there are other great ones I’ve heard over the year that I have not mentioned. See what I mean? …. Indecisive.

Favourite International release this year?

There were many great international releases this year as well but I am going to have to go with Ed Sheeran’s Divide. This was one album that I can listen to over and over again. He is one talented individual!

Act you saw the most times this year?

It would be July Talk and that was only twice.

Unless you count the many local bands I’ve seen. I have spent many nights carrying a couple of instruments to and from a bar when my boyfriend and the band he is a part of had a show.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

This would definitely have to be the Iceberg Alley Performance Tent for me. This event was held in St. John’s, NL over the span of eleven days in September, along with the Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival.This was the first time I’ve seen something here of that calibre. The event brought a variety of music, including some of our local talent, for people of all ages. We attended three different nights and saw bands such as July Talk, Arkells, and Big Sugar.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

I have seen some pretty awesome performances this year. However, my favourite would have to be a tie between July Talk and the Arkells. I had heard the names of both bands floating around for a few years but never actually had the chance to see either until the  Summer of 2016 when they played together at the George Street Festival. I was hooked! Both quickly became one of my favourite bands and I was lucky enough to see them a few times this year. Seeing the Arkells again is definitely a treat. The energy they have on stage is amazing. And July Talk puts off a performance you definitely do not want to miss! If you haven’t seen either band, I definitely recommend checking them out the next time they are in your area!

Marie Demeire – Photo: Phoenix at MTelus in Montreal

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Drake – More Life

Favourite International release this year?

Melodrama – Lorde

Act you saw the most times this year?

Men I Trust (once at Osheaga, once during M for Montreal)

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Jasper Sloan Yip

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Osheaga!

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

The Weeknd’s set at Osheaga

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Phoenix at MTelus

Jordyn Meade-Baxter – Photo: Fake Shark in Moncton

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

It’s pretty much a toss-up between Faux Real by Fake Shark and Dawn of Endo by Chair Warriors. Fake Shark has been a favourite of mine for years so it’s no surprise it’s in my top ones. I reviewed Chair Warriors earlier this year and I was pleasantly surprised and added it to my Spotify right away. Other top contenders are Cageless (Hedley), The Wildhood’s self-titled EP and Wild At Heart (The Wild).

Favourite International release this year?

Again it’s a toss-up but definitely a tight race between Last Young Renegade by All Time Low and One More Light by Linkin Park. Paramore’s After Laughter is a close second.

Act you saw the most times this year?

Fake Shark was the only act I saw this year so I guess them!

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Chair Warriors, The Wild, Danielle Dayton, and my buddy started the Wildhood this year.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

I only attended that one Fake Shark show so I guess that’ll have to do lol. It was still awesome. Like I said earlier they’re a favourite of mine and it was my first time seeing them live. A long time coming but it was totally worth it.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Please see above lol

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Again, see above.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

I am really happy that we brought back the Playlist last year. The addition of the actual Spotify playlists definitely has had a turnout. But really I’m just thankful for all the new writers. Being here since there was only 6 of us and seeing us grow to be this big makes me very proud. The new additions are bound to happen once we get this many people together so really we owe it to them.

Linda Heldman – Photo: Joey Niceforo at All Nations Church in Sudbury, ON

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Brett Kissel – We Were That Song

Favourite International release this year?

Ed Sheeran – Divide

Act you saw the most times this year?

Brett Kissel (5 times)

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Joey Niceforo

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Potash Corp Country Music Week (Saskatoon)

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Dean Brody, Tim Hicks and Carly Pearce – Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Joe Nichols – Manitoulin Country Fest Saturday Night Headliner

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

Weekly Spotify Playlist

Lizzie Sharpe

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

My favourite Canadian album that was released this year was the new Hedley Album Cageless. I have followed Hedley since the start and this album was one of my top favourites from them.

Favourite International release this year?

My favourite international release this year was Ed Sheeran’s divide album. This album is truly amazing and I fell in love with every song from the start.

Act you saw the most times this year?

Shawn Mendes live at the Air Canada Center August 11th and 12th.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

The best musical discovery I made this year was Everglow. I have been hearing about this band a lot and decided i should give them a try so I did and I really enjoyed them and have been hooked since.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Shawn Mendes was amazing live and it was so much fun watching him play such a big crowd and having the chance to do it again the next day, He puts on a great show and keeps the crowd entertained.

Best Passport show you went to this year?

The best passport show I went to this year was hands down the Ed Sheeran show on July 7th. Ed definitely knows how to put on one heck of a show and had one of the best stage setups I have seen. This was my 2nd Ed Sheeran show and was the best concerts I have been to!

Dan Fischer – Photo: Headstones in Guelph

Favourite Canadian album released this year?      

Arcade Fire –  Everything Now

Favourite International release this year?     

Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want?

Act you saw the most times this year?       

Headstones

Best musical discovery you made this year?   

Iskwe

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?    

Elora Riverfest

Best Canadian show you went to this year?          

Headstones

Best Passport show you went to this year?          

Bullet For My Valentine

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

Sorry, not new but I enjoy the album reviews.

Emily Plunkett – Photo: Gord Downie at We Day on Parliment Hill in Ottawa

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

The biggest album and artist I was able to discover and follow was rapper, Cody Coyote and his latest release, Mamawi.  On top of discovering and covering a talented Ottawa artist, I felt like I was taken on a full-circle journey. From the moment I first saw Coyote at Westfest, to learning his story, to understanding the importance of the album he would be releasing, listening to the album and finally being there at his CD release party at Raw Sugar in Ottawa.  I absolutely cannot wait to hear what Cody Coyote has to share with me next.

Act I saw the most times this year?

Barenaked Ladies were very much in my spotlight for me this year, and it felt fantastic.  Following the two occasions I was able to photograph the core band (WE Day and at the National Arts Centre) and the three separate occasions I saw former member, Steven Page, perform (with Trans-Canada Highwaymen, with the Art of Time and as a solo performer), I was truly reminded me how much I still love the band in a way that allowed me to balance both their past and present.  From my first BNL show in 2001, to 2009’s Ships and Dip V cruise, and now to Ottawa’s finest stages and festivals, I am still so proud to be their fan.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

The best discovery I have made this year (probably my life, let’s face it) was France’s Caravan Palace.  The Ottawa Jazz Festival is not always known for attracting artists that would appeal to a younger crowd.  While wandering through the audience before the band took to the stage, an older patron of the festival came to ask me, a festival volunteer, why there were a lot of young people in attendance that night.  He had never heard of the band. He was concerned that the group would be too “heavy” for the festival.  I told him that I had also never heard of the group until they were announced as a festival headliner in April, but I assured him that they wouldn’t disappoint.  By the end of the night, the patron was dancing just as hard as the young folks excited for the rare opportunity to see the electro-swing ensemble.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

The entire Polaris Music Prize project that I created for myself and took on that accumulated with me travelling to cover the awards presentation in Toronto was such an absolute honour.  It was an honour to listen to every single one of the nominees.  It was an honour to discover several of the nominees for the first time (Lisa LeBlanc and BadBadNotGood were highlights in particular).  It was an honour to travel to Toronto to be a part of its rich music scene.  It was an honour to be present as Lido Pimienta burst into the Canadian consciousness.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

As I mentioned in my Canada Day reflections, the celebrations in Ottawa can occasionally be a bit of a clusterfuck and leave folks burnt out from the experience.  The unique opportunity to see the WE Day Canada event on Parliament Hill on July 2 really offered the chance to see and participate in an event that felt like what a Canada Day event should be.  It was lower key than the main event, it wasn’t bogged down by pomp and ceremony, and the rain actually held off for most of it!  The crowd of young people was energized and the line up was spectacular (with Hedley, Nelly Furtado and Barenaked Ladies as headliners).  The entire day was just so much fun, and I can remember this beautiful moment of sitting in the rain during the show’s final moments, just savouring the moment.

The event also included probably the most important moment I have witnessed as a Canadian music writer and photographer: the final public appearance of Gord Downie. The photos I took of that moment are not my finest. My levels are off (bright sunny days with harsh shadows will do that), they picked up a lot of background noise, and he was only there to speak, but I don’t care.  I will never get to take another photograph of Gord Downie ever again.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

Me, obviously! 😉

Dutch Bickell

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Guylaine Tanguay has been making waves in Quebec country music with her powerful vocals and live performances. Tanguay is extremely hard working has produced a handful of studio albums in the past few years. This past June Tanguay released her full-length French-language country album, Mon livre vert. Though performed entirely in French, the album contains some well-known hits which have been translated to the language of love including the song “Aide-moi à passer la nuit” which is the iconic Kris Kristofferson song “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” There is a level of power and emotion that Tanguay puts into each note that is hard to be matched by any other artist making her one of my favourites.

Favourite International release this year? 

Reba McEntire can basically do no wrong in my eyes. McEntire has been one of country music’s most consistent and successful artists over the years. This past February McEntire took a big leap and released Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. Though most of the tracks are centred on a faith and religious theme, McEntire still delivers them with her classic vocals and passion making the album blend seamlessly with her entire musical catalogue. Delivered as a two-disc set; disc one features brand new original tunes, and disc two features McEntire reviving beloved classics such as “Oh Happy Day” and “Amazing Grace.” There is a cool Canada connection as one of the tracks, “God and My Girlfriends” was a co-write between Patricia Conroy, Lisa Hentrich, and Marcia Ramirez and was also recorded by Beverley Mahood for her digital released album, New Religion.

Act you saw the most times this year?

Through the release of her new album, and extensive tour dates I was actually fortunate enough to catch Guylaine Tanguay on the road more than once this year. Tanguay took her country act on the road for multiple dates but also filled the shoes of Céline Dion for the Cabaret du Casino of Montréal’s show Ce n’était qu’un rêve (It Was Only a Dream). I love catching Tanguay’s energetic performances and I never leave a show disappointed.

Best musical discovery you made this year?

May Wells is one that comes to mind. I first heard her stuff earlier this year and through her new singles, and some great radio exposure I have come to be a big fan of Wells. This past November Wells released the official music video for “You Deserve More.” The single was one of my favourite of hers and the video complimented the emotional song.

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Robby Johnson has been on the road since the release of his debut album Don’t Look Back. I was finally able to catch Johnson perform in Montreal earlier this year on his Don’t Look Back Tour 2017 and see all the things that make this new artist a bonafide performer. Johnson is a great country artist who is passionate about his music and delivers a non-stop show that mixes his original tunes, with some of his all-time favourites.

Best Passport show you went to this year? 

Regina Spektor comes to mind as one of the best passport shows I got to attend. I have been a fan of Spektor for a few years and this was finally an opportunity to see her in action. Spektor played to a sold-out crowd in Montreal and lived up to all of the endearing things I have heard about her over the years. Spektor was funny, personable, and interacted well with the large audience.

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition? 

Canadian Beats always seems to be growing and in all the right directions. The passport shows definitely add some fun to the mix and allow us to explore some artists that add to our culture and let us experience some of the best artists and acts internationally.

Phil Fradkin – Photo: July Talk at Calgary Stampede

Favourite Canadian Album released this year?

it’s a tie between:

Fucked Up! – Zodiac Series “Year of the Snake”

Silverstein- Dead Reflections

Favourite International release this year?

Deez Nuts- Binge & Purgatory

Act you saw the most times this year?

Can’t Remember but probably one of the local Calgary bands such as Shark Infested Daughters, or Path Less Traveled.

Best Musical Discovery This Year?

Not necessity discovery but re-visited Converge and Enter Shikari.

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Sled Island or Warped Tour

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Obey The Brave and Deez Nuts June 10th @ Distortion

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Bring Me The Horizon / Underoath / Beartooth

Gabby Rivera – Photo: New Found Glory at The Opera House in Toronto

Favourite International release this year?

Ed Sheeran – Divide

Act you saw the most times this year?

The Weeknd

Beat musical discovery you made this year?

Alestorm

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Digital Dreams

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Leeroy Stagger

Best Passport show you went to this year?

New Found Glory

Nanci Dagg – Photo: Brett Kissel at The Forks in Winnipeg for the closing night of the Canada Games.

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

Jason Kirkness – Beautiful Disaster

Favourite International release this year?

Elton John – Diamonds

Act you saw the most times this year?

Jason Kirkness

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

Dauphin’s Countryfest

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Johnny Reid

Best Passport show you went to this year?

Kip Moore

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

I love the new “Five Questions With…” but also the new look for the web page.

Melissa Aquino – Photo: Uforia at The Music Expo & Mississauga Music Awards

Favourite Canadian album released this year?

No Culture – Mother Mother

Favourite International release this year?

How Did We Get So Dark? – Royal Blood

Act you saw the most times this year?

Uforia

Best musical discovery you made this year?

Bon Villan

Best event you attended this year (ie. festival, music week, awards, etc)?

The Music Expo & Mississauga Music Awards

Best Canadian show you went to this year?

Monowhales @ Rivoli

Canadian Beats has grown a lot in the past year with a lot of new features being added, what is your favourite new addition?

Spotify Playlists

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