What Makes a Music Video “Look Canadian?” Dave Shumka Breaks it Down

Someone please make a flowchart of this.
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We love Canada. It gave us Chris Hadfield and our wonderful weekend editor Sam Maggs. We have a lot in common, but when something’s Canadian, you can just kind of tell. Comedian, blogger, and Canadian Dave Shumka set out to qualify what makes music videos “look Canadian” over on the CBC Music Blog.

Shumka compiled a list of the “Top Ten Most Canadian Music Videos Ever” titled “The Eh List.” It features Men Without Hats, Barenaked Ladies, Radio Radio, and every famous Canadian musician from 1985 in their version of “We Are the World” among others.

The reasons given for these videos being so distinctly Canadian vary, but a few recurring themes seem to be low production values, cold weather activities, and notable Canadian locations. One song made the list for its prominent use of  donuts and sledding, while another song is a metaphor for curling with a video set in a curling rink. Hockey pops up in a few of the videos as well.

So what did we learn? If you’re looking to produce a Canadian music video and you want that authentic Canadian look, don’t spend a lot, get outdoors in a snowstorm, and grab a box of Timbits. It probably also wouldn’t hurt to see what Catherine O’Hara is up to, either.

robin sparkles

Shumka is a community producer at CBC Music, and is also the co-host of the comedy podcast Stop Podcasting Yourself.

(via CBC Music, image via Biblio Archives/Library Archives)

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Glen Tickle
Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.