Canada has been called unworkable as a
country, it has been said that a geographically impossible country.
With a population roughly the size of California and a land mass
larger than the U.S. or China Canada is divided by vast empty
spaces, by immense mountain ranges, by harsh winters and of course
by language. Add to all of that the fact that most major Canadian
population centers are closer to the US than they are to the next
major Canadian population center and there are very few things
that unite Canada.
Much to the chagrin of Stephen
Harper much of what ties Canada together is cultural. The
CBC, certain Canadian authors and most especially music. CBC Radio
3's New Music
Canada site houses profiles of thousands of Canadian recording
artists from every part of the country. Cities like St. John's,
Moncton, Charlottetown, Guelph and Sudbury (all of which are smaller
than Springfield, Missouri) have thriving, vibrant music scenes.
The large cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are essentially
perpetual music festivals - a recent
count in Toronto showed 326 musical acts playing 37 venues
and that was just a normal week (the week before Canadian Music
Thousands of Canadian artists criss cross the country, despite
the geography, all year round serving as kind of cultural ambassadors
between the maritimes and the oil patch, between the prairies
and Ontario, between Ontario and the west coast and form a sort
of disbursed community among Canadian music lovers.
NxEW, takes it's name from the NxNE and SxSW festivals but demonstrates
both the geographical issues of Canada as well as the relative
unimportance of Geography in the internet age.
The hope is to bring together music lovers from across Canada,
from the east and the west, the prairies and the north, from small
towns and big cities to talk about music - what's going on nationally
and what's going on locally. In other words to create a Canadian
music blog with "boots (or sneakers) on the ground" in every part
of the country.
In order to achieve this we have thrown out most
of the rules that traditional media likes, our contributors write
about what they want when they want, we've tossed the rules on
conflict of interest, we have no 'style guide' (we value have
nothing against skill at writing but we value enthusiasm more),
we have no 'standards and practices' we are not and do not claim
to be impartial. We are not competitive or territorial, we happily
work with and cheer on other groups, organizations and individuals
that work for the benefeit of Canadian music.