Monthly Archives: April 2018

Junos to honour francophone artists next year by inviting “uhh, Roch Voisine or whoever, is that his name?”

Facing criticism from pundits in Quebec that the Juno Awards were held entirely in English, the organizers of Canada’s biggest music awards show said they would fix the problem next year by inviting legendary francophone artist “uhh, Roch Voisine or whoever, is that his name?” to perform during the live broadcast.

Voisine, the veteran singer and guitar-player-we-think artist from New Brunswick or maybe eastern Quebec, would be happy to act as the token francophone at the ceremony next year, because he’s not doing much else, we think, and we’re pretty sure he’s still alive.

Just in case Voisine, whose first name we’re pretty sure is spelled with an H even though we know that’s a bit weird — it’s a French thing, we think — isn’t available, and Céline Dion can’t be booked on short notice, the Junos believe other francophone artists can be brought in, like … uhh … Harmonium and … Coeur de Pirate and we guess that French lady from Arcade FIre.

The 2019 Junos are on March 17 in London, Ont.

Quebec City to add parking to Petit Champlain St.

Rue du Petit Champlain

Feeling the pressure from suburban drivers upset at new public transit projects that do little to help drivers, Quebec City is instituting a series of measures meant to appeal to people who listen to talk radio behind the wheel. Among the more controversial ones is the plan to add street parking to Petit Champlain St. in Vieux Québec, which begins today.

The narrow street, known for its small artisanal (read: tourist trap) shops with addresses that sometimes have fractions in them, has been pedestrian-only for years, but Mayor Régis Labeaume said this week the merchants have been after him to add parking to stimulate the economy in the area.

The plan is to add parking on one side of the street on weekdays, except for a two-week period during the peak of summer. There won’t be parking meters, but a 60-minute limit will be in place.

Store owners were nearly unanimous in their approval of the plan, noting that anything that increases available parking downtown is by definition good for business.

Radio station signs sponsorship deal for emergency alerts

CFUL-FM (102.1 The Feül) in St. Catharines says it believes it is the first commercial radio station in Canada to sign a sponsorship deal for its emergency alert messages. Insurance company Federated Insurance Corp. will pay an undisclosed amount to have its name mentioned after all emergency alert messages, from flood and tornado warnings to test messages and Amber Alerts.

“We’re thrilled to be innovating in the radio business,” explained CFUL general manager Tom Natroo. “Not only will our audience be well informed about potentially life and death emergencies, but they’ll know who to call to prevent the next emergency from leaving them in financial ruin. And they’ll get an extra 15% off.”

Natroo said the partnership will also extend to special contests during major disasters where a call-in winner will win access to an emergency shelter for them and up to two friends or family members.

Canadiens sign emergency backup goalie Scott Foster to seven-year, $35-million deal

Fresh off his win for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Winnipeg Jets, 36-year-old emergency backup goaltender Scott Foster has been signed to a seven-year, $35-million deal with the Montreal Canadiens, which begins July 1.

Foster, who played 14 minutes for the Blackhawks and had seven saves, has a career 1.000 save percentage and 0.00 goals-against average and is undefeated in the NHL so far, making him statistically the best goalie in the league.

“It was quite a coup for us,” explained Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, who made the unusual signing of the player after he was released from his Blackhawks contract. Under NHL rules, because the signing happened after the trade deadline, Foster cannot play for the Canadiens this season, except as an emergency backup if both goaltenders get injured in the same day.

Foster said he’s not sure if he’ll give up his day job as an accountant, because as Carey Price’s backup he said he doesn’t expect to be needed that much, so long as Price is healthy.

Price’s 2017-18 backup, Antti Niemi, will see his contract expire on July 1. Bergevin said he still hopes to get something for Niemi on the trade market, hopefully a veteran fourth-line winger.