You have to be one to understand one.
That’s my answer to foreign friends who want me to get into it over Canadian culture and try to define something, anything that is essential Canadian.
Maybe I should just turn up k.d. Lang. Really loud.
Her voice is immediately familiar. Few can elicit in me such deep veins of melancholy and joy.
If you heard applause down the street from inside that house with the red door, that was me, watching k.d Lang accept her official induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at tonight’s Juno awards in Regina…me, cheering for the rightness of it all, and her glorious speech.
“I think the fact that I’m standing here receiving this award says more about Canada than it does about me, because only in Canada could there be such a freak as k.d. Lang receiving this award. Only in Canada could there be people like Stompin’ Tom Connors and Rita MacNeil. So I am here to tell you, my friends and my countrymen, that it is OK to be you. It is OK to let your freak flags fly. Embrace the quirkmeister that is inside all of us. And I’m not even just talking artists. Every single person in this nation has the right to be themselves, live life go team go. I love you Canada, thank you so much.”
This is not the first time the Edmonton born singer has stolen the show at the Junos.
Here she is in 2005 singing a Canadian classic.
Go ahead and turn up the volume. I’m right there with you.