Allan Reid – CARAS President
Scanning over the honour roll which constitutes artists inducted into Canada’s Music Hall Of Fame, Allan Reid, President CEO, CARAS/The Juno Awards & MusiCounts claims he is full of pride at the vast array of talent who have previously been selected for this prestigious award.
“I am proud of being a Canadian when I look at who has been inducted, the artistic contributions these people have made to this country is incredible,” enthused Reid.
Yet Reid, the 25-year veteran of the domestic industry who has served as head of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts And Sciences since taking over from Melanie Berry on January 2015, is also aware that many noteworthy candidates have yet to be inducted and that if the hall induction process is not revamped, several key artists will have passed on before being selected.
Bobby Curtola is cited as an artist who passed away before receiving due recognition. A situation that will be rectified Sunday, October 27th when four new inductees join Corey Hart in the 2019 honour role list with Bobby Curtola finally being recognized along with Andy Kim, Chilliwack and The Cowboy Junkies during a special award ceremony to be staged at Calgary’s Studio Bell which has been the the official home of the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame since 2016.
As of this year, one artist/group will be honoured at every traditional Juno Awards telecast while four other inductees will also be selected and feted at Studio Bell. CBC Television will air the award ceremonies in Calgary on their Gem streamline telecast and will also create one-hour highlights special to be broadcast prior to the actual Juno Awards telecast.
Reid acknowledged that CARAS has presented multiple awards in past years; 1984 was set aside to honour The Crew Cuts, The Diamonds and The Four Lads. In 1996 Blood Sweat And Tears’ frontman, David Clayton Thomas, Mamas And The Papas’ Canadian member, Denny Doherty, Steppenwolf’s John Kay, Domenic Troiano and Loving Spoonful’s Zal Yanovsky were all herded in and the following year, Gil Owens, Lenny Breau, Maynard Ferguson, Moe Koffman and Rob McConnell were all feted as CARAS honoured their instrumental quotient.
However, unlike Cleveland’s Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame which traditionally honours multiple winners as their organizers fashioning an entire show around the inductees; Canada’s Hall Of Fame recipient has been only one of several Juno Award categories handed out during the annual telecast. In order to expand the nominees to five artists and be sufficiently recognized (noting that only one nominee will be recognized on the actual Juno broadcast), highlights of Sunday’s Hall Of Fame ceremonies will be available to stream on November 2nd on CBC Gem (gem.cbc.ca) A second special will air as part of Music Day on CBC Broadcasting. Sunday March 15th 2020, ahead of the 2020 Juno Awards on CBC to be staged in Saskatoon.
Reid is aware of a number of key artists who have not yet been inducted and has drawn the ire of Trooper fans, who have targeted him with a barrage of emails to get their Vancouver heroes inducted along with other 70’s Canuck rock idols like The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Loverboy, Rush, Triumph, Bryan Adams, April Wine, and finally Chilliwack and Corey Hart. Reminded that Trooper was the first Canadian band/artist ever to sell 400,000 copies (quadruple platinum) of their 1979 ‘Hot Shot’ album and were cited by Universal Records as one of the top five selling Canadian groups of all time, he says all of this information has been duly noted by the CARAS board. “Personally, I love it when the fans get involved. It shows a real passion on their part,” Reid acknowledged. “It’s great to get their feedback.”
Another notable absentee is Celine Dion who has respectfully declined this honour in past years because of the failing health of her husband, Rene Angelil who lost his battle with cancer in 2016. Both Lighthouse and Downchild Blues Band are celebrating 50 year anniversaries this year but neither band has yet to been inducted.
Now, with an acceptable format for selecting multiple artists in place, Reid is anticipating an opportunity to address that backlog of notable artists and groups still to be honoured at Studio Bell. “Our criteria is that prospective nominees be active for at least 20 years and it’s not just about selling records” Reid explained. “We look for artists who have made a real cultural contribution to our country.”
So with this latitude, CARAS has decided this year to honor industry pioneers like Bobby Curtola, (who enjoyed success in 1962 with “Fortune Teller” and Montreal’s Andy Kim (who recorded a number of major hits like “Rock Me Gently” and “Baby I Love You” in the early ’70s as well as conspiring with Jeff Barry to pen “Sugar Sugar” for the Archies’ cartoon tv series).
Aside from fellow Montrealer, Corey Hart, who was honoured earlier this year, Vancouver’s Chilliwack have been cited as 1970’s rock idols while Toronto’s Cowboy Junkies’ have been acknowledged for their success in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.
“We could have done all five from one era but we liked to spread them out and cite different eras,” noted Reid. “The exciting thing about inducting multiples is that in future years we can widen the scope to include Francophone artists, Children’s artists, Blues artists, musicians who were at the top of their field but may not have received some of the radio exposure or sales figures that their pop or rock counterparts may have received” enthused Reid. “This opens up a whole new realm of opportunities.”
For a complete list of The Canadian Music Hall Of Fame Inductees, please link to canadianmusichalloffame.ca