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Smoke from wildfires burning across the prairies is forcing the provincial government to put the kibosh on parts of some Canada Day festivities in Manitoba.
The lifting of a provincial ban on farmers applying fertilizer to their crops is getting a positive reaction from one farmers group that was looking to get the ban lifted.



Submissions are now open for the 11th edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMA). Canadian artists and groups whose albums were released in Canada between June 15, 2014 to June 14, 2015 are eligible.

Established by Canada's burgeoning and internationally-recognized folk music community, the awards currently boast 20 categories. Five nominees are chosen for each category. A three stage jury process by 100 jurors located across Canada representing all official provinces, territories and languages determine the official winners in each category. Complete eligibility requirements are listed here:

The earlybird submission deadline is April 30, 2015. The final deadline is June 30, 2015.

The 11th edition of the CFMA weekend takes place November 6-8, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta and includes concerts from many of the nominees. The gala awards event, featuring live performances from some of the best of Canada's folk community, happens at the Citadel Theatre on November 8, 2015.



The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced Rush – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart – as the recipient of the 2015 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Bell Media. The JUNO Award-winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trio exemplifies the spirit of the award through their music and devotion to philanthropy and humanitarian causes, both of which have touched millions of lives and spanned generations.
The Allan Waters Humanitarian Award recognizes outstanding Canadian artists whose contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada. Named after CHUM Ltd. founder Allan Waters, the award is made possible by funding from BCE-Bell Media Benefits. It will be presented to Rush at the 2015 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on March 14, 2015 in Hamilton, Ontario.
"We are sincerely grateful to be recognized as this year's recipients of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award. We are proud, honoured and humbled to be in the company of all Canadians who find it within their hearts to help those in need."  - Rush
"We are proud to be recognizing Rush’s noble legacy with this award," said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts. "The group’s dedication to countless charities and organizations over the course of their career is truly remarkable. Their tenacity and spirit serves as an inspiration to all of us, and we salute them for all of their exceptional work."
"Bell Media congratulates Rush on being honoured with this year’s Allan Waters Humanitarian Award," said Phil King, President, CTV, Sports, and Entertainment Programming. "As true rock icons, Rush embodies Canada’s innate spirit of compassion. Their generous support of and commitment to numerous worthy causes over their prolific career make them truly worthy of this prestigious award."
With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush is not only one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, but remains one of the most popular. According to the RIAA® Rush’s sales statistics place them third for the most consecutive gold/platinum studio albums by a rock band, topped only by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In addition to their commercial success, Rush has also been recognized with nine JUNO Awards and seven Grammy nominations, including one for the acclaimed documentary "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage." The group has remained unwaveringly committed and daring throughout their musical journey, and the same characteristics can be used to describe their charitable dedication.
Over the course of their four-decade-long career, the members of Rush have thrown their support behind a wide variety of worthy causes often privately and sometimes publicly. From their earliest shows at Toronto’s historic Maple Leaf Gardens, the band started working with the Toronto Food Bank to encourage fans to bring food for those in need. Eventually deciding to do their first charity concert at Maple Leaf Gardens to benefit the United Way in the early ‘80s, and an amFAR show to benefit Aids Research in the early ‘90s, engaging themselves and their fans in positive pursuits naturally became part of the Rush ethos.
As dedicated advocates of human rights, in 2008 Rush donated $100,000 from a Winnipeg concert’s gate to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. In the same year, on their Snakes & Arrows Tour, the band donated $100,000 from their show in New Orleans to Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation to assist in the revitalization of the city post Hurricane Katrina, and sponsor the construction of a house in The Lower Ninth Ward dubbed “The House that Rush Built.”
From their 2010 Time Machine Tour onwards, Rush has donated $1 from every concert ticket sold to various charities including Doctors Without Borders, a total which will soon surpass $2 million over these last five years. In 2013, the band performed an incredibly successful benefit concert at Red Deer’s Enmax Centrium with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross to help victims of the flooding that devastated many regions of southern Alberta. The event raised over $575,000 and was one of the largest donations made to the Alberta Flood Relief.
Rush has also been a passionate supporter of Little Kids Rock, a national non-profit organization that works to restore and revitalize music education programs in disadvantaged U.S. public schools. In efforts to provide percussion instruments to schools, the group created a premium Neil Peart Paragon Cymbal Pack, each of which came with a free splash cymbal personalized, autographed and dated by the Rush drummer himself. This cause-based marketing initiative went on to raise over $50,000 for Little Kids Rock. Working with their endorsement companies, they have set up partnerships for their signature items which have seen many positive charitable efforts such as Neil Peart with DW, Sabian and ProMark, where one campaign raised over $60,000 for Child Advocates. Alex Lifeson has donated royalties from his signature Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess guitar to the Dominic Triano Foundation for guitar music scholarships.
The band members have also donated their time, funds and awareness through their personal interests and events. An avid baseball fan, Geddy Lee donated close to 400 baseballs signed by former Negro League baseball players from his personal collection to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City in 2008. Alex Lifeson is a supporter of Casey House, as well as The Kidney Foundation to which he donates his paintings to assist in their fundraising. During the band’s South American tour in 2010, Neil Peart was moved by the rescue of the trapped miners in Chile. When he wrote a story about his experiences touring in South America, he rallied Rush fans and his readers to make a $1 donation for his story. Neil matched their donations, and together they raised $10,000 for the Chilean Red Cross.
For over 10 years, Geddy Lee has been an active board member for the Grapes for Humanity Canada charity, an organization that raises funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson co-host their bi-annual “Grapes Under Pressure” wine event supporting the local wine growing regions of Ontario. All three members of the band support this cause through their Grapes Under Pressure eBay auction of Rush memorabilia. These combined events have raised over $500,000 to date.
Rush’s vast catalogue includes such classics as 1974’s self-titled debut, 1976’s 2112, 1981’s Moving Pictures, 1996’s Test For Echo, and 2002’s Vapor Trails. Rush released their 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels in 2012 via Anthem/Roadrunner Records. The critically acclaimed collection marks their first studio recording since 2007’s Snakes & Arrows, and debuted at #1 in Canada and #2 on the Billboard 200 matching the highest chart debut of the band’s career. Rush was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996 and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010. They have received a star on both Canada’s Walk of Fame (1999) and Hollywood Walk of Fame (2010). Rush received the highest artistic honour in Canada by winning the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2012 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
For more information on the 2015 JUNO Awards, or to download photos of Rush, go to CTV’s broadcast of The 2015 JUNO Awards airs March 15, 2015 live on CTV from Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre.

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is pleased to announce 'Play Me a Rock and Roll Song' as the latest induction into the Hall of Fame. A perennial favourite at folk festivals, the song was written by Valdy, one of Canada's premier folk artists. This legendary song is celebrated through Covered Classics, a collaboration between the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and CBC/Radio-Canada that invites notable Canadian artists to perform their own rendition of a newly inducted song. Juno award winning singer-songwriter and SOCAN member Justin Rutledge pays tribute to Valdy with his haunting rendition of 'Play Me a Rock and Roll Song' - click here to view his performance.


"Valdy is an iconic songwriter and performer, and one of Canada's great storytellers," says Justin. "It's an honour to perform 'Play Me a Rock and Roll Song' as part of the Covered Classics series, and to have the opportunity to celebrate Canada's great songwriting heritage."


'Play Me a Rock and Roll Song' recounts Valdy's bittersweet memory of performing at the Aldergrove Rock Festival in 1968 where the 25,000-strong rock-loving audience jeered his folk offerings. The song cleverly played into the hippy counter-culture movement, while embodying the tensions between rock and folk fans. The 1972 recording, released as a single and on Valdy's "Country Man" album, features an ironic driving rock-waltz setting, contrasted with lyrics that find the gentle folksinger pleading with his unruly audience. 'Play Me a Rock and Roll Song' earned Valdy the Moffat Canadian Talent Award for record of the year, and the single spent an impressive 12 weeks on RPM's Top 40 singles chart for Canada; "Country Man" went gold in Canada by 1975. The song also earned Valdy a SOCAN Classics Award in 1999, for 25,000 radio plays.


"It's a huge honour to have my song 'Play Me a Rock and Roll Song' inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame," says Valdy from his West Coast home. "I'm grateful to all involved, and extremely proud to have one of my songs included as a part of Canada's musical legacy."


For a complete list of 2015 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame song inductions and links to the new Covered Classics versions, visit:


About the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame ( honours and celebrates Canadian songwriters and those who have dedicated their lives to the legacy of music, and works to educate the public about these achievements. National and non-profit, the CSHF is guided by its own board of directors who comprise both Anglophone and Francophone music creators and publishers, as well as representation from the record industry. In December 2011, SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) acquired the CSHF. The Hall of Fame's mandate aligns with SOCAN's objectives as a songwriter and publisher membership-based organization.  


Canadian songwriting legend Joni Mitchell is in a coma and unresponsive, according to TMZ.


The gossip website reported Tuesday that Mitchell was in hospital with ``no immediate prospects for getting better.''


TMZ reports that Mitchell's longtime friend Leslie Morris filed legal documents to obtain ``conservatorship'' over the Saskatchewan-raised songwriter, because no other close relatives were available.


The 71-year-old Mitchell was admitted into intensive care last month after being found unconscious in her home.


The ``Big Yellow Taxi'' songwriter is a seven-time Grammy winner and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A Medical Officer in Manitoba says there is little reason for the general Canadian population to panic about the Zika Virus.
A candlelight vigil will be held in Vermillion Park this evening in memory of those lost in the La Loche shooting, as well as other tragedies.
The federal and provincial governments are investing a combined almost-$380,000 in a potato processing plant in Carberry.
As farmers begin their spring seeding, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association says motorists should be careful about large farm machinery travelling on the roads.
Starting out with only $11.50 and 13 people, the Catalyst Credit Union is proud to celebrate 75 years for everyone to see!
Catalyst Credit Union finished its first full year of operation well in the black.
Investigators don't yet know what killed an 11-year-old girl in northern Manitoba.
Gilbert Plains' boosted hemp processing plant brought a lot of excitement to the town for what it will do to the local economy, but few thought it would bring big national media.
Community Futures Parkland was awarded the Community Futures Award for Excellence and Innovation by the Community Futures Manitoba Organization.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture wants to see a quick resolution to the Country of Origin Labeling Dispute.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the country's small businesses are hurting.

March is Fraud Prevention Month, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says fraud is more common than some people think.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says Manitoba small businesses will benefit from the corporate tax cuts announced in yesterday's budget by the federal government.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is calling for changes to Manitoba's payroll tax.