Digging this out from the GMA archives, a few years ago we sent some questions to the Department of Canadian Heritage, asking them how their nations views Metal music. Here we have their response, we thank Tim Warmington (Media Relations Advisor) for helping us out with this.
How does Canada view the mainstream / underground rock and metal music scene?
The Government of Canada encourages the creation, production and distribution of a variety of genres of music, including rock and metal, as this important cultural industry is essential to our communities, our identity, and our economy. Music in Canada generates nearly $3 billion every year in economic activity from sound recordings, concerts, commercial radio and performing rights.
Does Canada encourage youth to learn an instrument?
In 2011, the Government of Canada introduced the Children's Arts Tax Credit to encourage learning in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity. For more information on the Children's Arts Tax Credit visit this website: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2011/qa01-eng.html
Does Canada support rock/metal bands?
The Canada Music Fund is the Government of Canada's main support program for the music industry. It is administered in part by the Department of Canadian Heritage and by private sector organizations: FACTOR for the English-language music market and Music action for the French-language market. The objectives of the Canada Music Fund are:
In recent years, the Canada Music Fund has helped support on average about 450 album production projects and over 1000 marketing, touring and showcasing initiatives annually. Projects in the rock and metal genres are eligible for funding. For more information on the Canada Music Fund click here:
Well 'Hello Kitty'. Canada's Pop Punk icon Avril Lavigne has unveiled her latest music video to mixed reception, some even stepping over the line through indirect accusations.
After reading through articles on various online outlets talking about the new music video, it's laughable to think that they perceive this is racist, considering the Japanese (see her twitter posts further below) don't seem to be complaining about it, yet the non-Japanese media are and so what does this say about them then? Well clearly they are having trouble in understanding the Japanese culture. Yet what about the backing dancers? Come on now, so what if they look identical - if that is considered racist, then crikey you might as well kill off all of the orcs in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, because surely racism does not exist in Middle Earth (yet can anyone recall any character actually being purported by a non-white person? No? Oh oops)? It just seems to be the case that anyone will complain about anything without thinking outside the box, stop being narrow minded and broaden you mind out.
Speaking of the back-up dancers, what about the number of dancers we see in other music videos such as Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' - surely they aren't his 'accessories' as this is what Australian blog 'The Two Chairs' lumbered Avril Lavigne with; accessories you wear or own, so 'The Two Chairs' must have a problem with understanding the meaning of 'accessories', unless there's something we don't know... moreover you could take any pop music video and pick out how the dancers all look the same, whether dressed the same way, wearing the same clothes, are of the same race, how is this racist?
So what if you cannot produce the accent completely upon pronouncing foreign words? It just seems rather stupid to disgrace Avril Lavigne with this because of the stark differences between the Japanese and Canadian accents; has anyone tried switching accents every second? It's not exactly the easiest of techniques, especially when you're singing - no wonder Rammstein have never left the German language. Has anyone actually thought that spending a substantial amount of time such as two or more years in one place, will enable the accent switch to perfect itself more? Flying between more than two countries a year will have an affect on your accent.
Take the line 'like a fat kid on smarties', sure this lyric is a little naughty but I'm fat myself and I laughed this off, oh and the funny thing is smarties come in various colors and this ties in nicely with the kawaii of the music video and indeed the well known Hello Kitty brand.
Isn't it ironic though? If you had only one race or one nationality in any form of media it's considered racist, yet because this music video has some level of diversity, people still call it racist? If it was racist, then surely the crew and indeed the backing dancers would have probably spoke out about it and would not have gone ahead with the production (has anyone else thought that?) of the music video.
If anyone has actually indulged into the Visual Kei music scene, the Hello Kitty brand and Japanese culture, they will understand how vibrant it is and how taboo's are off in this country. Just like Baby metal (see our article here), they take the internationally recognized music styles and make it into their own, now come on if music is to progress then innovation must be allowed to happen, so if people are going to complain about something vastly different to the basic music being played worldwide, music would almost certainly die a slow death.
Back to Avril Lavigne, you have to admire how The Huffington Post point their finger towards her, yet it is the director who maintains the whole production of the music video, here The Huffington Post feels that "(Avril) Lavigne is by no means "embracing" Japanese culture. She is using it as her jester", how they can say that is beyond ridiculous, if it was set out to poke fun at the culture then the production would most likely never have happened, because the team would have not found it funny and surely that does not take too much to figure out?
Furthermore The Huffington Post have made a mistake on their part, the video has not been removed (check it here), so much for exaggeration. Oh and since Hello Kitty is already an established brand, then they must have given her and her team the right to use their brand as the song and end up producing media (like the music video) around it. Now if it was racist, sexist or down right offensive in any way, then they would have most likely not allowed this to be published.
With more pressing issues going on in the world that media outlets could remark upon, we have them moaning and belittling a harmless song and a brilliant artist, crikey this might just make the Sid Vicious a martyr and Johnny Rotten a potential martyr.
Say what you like, but we send our support to Avril Lavigne! You rock grrrl \m/
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