Thursday, April 11, 2013

8 Canadian Tourism music videos that will kill your soul or make you smile

This video was released by Tourism Calgary featuring a song sung by a up and coming Calgary duo Jocelyn and Lisa...and for some reason it has caused quite a stir. Now, I am not sure that this commotion has made its way outside of Calgary, but people in the city are either gushing over its greatness, or bashing it.

I didn't hate it. I like the song and thought it was great that they used local artists (however, I thought it probably would have been more fitting if they got Michael Bernard Fitzgerald to sing, but he may have been busy). I thought about 20% of the footage used was stupid...close ups of things like the hood of a car, a chicks hand and oars. Blah blah, I could go on, or you could just read the YouTube comments because they pretty much cover the gist of it.

So what do you usually do when you can decide whether you love something or hate it? I usually default to comparing it to other things that are similar and go from there. Last night I went on the great YouTube search to looks for other Tourism driven videos from across the country...and my findings were awesome and disappointing all in the same breath. You would be surprised how many tourism shops have NOT utilized this seemingly easy recipe for success.

(Find out what Cities/Provinces made the good and bad list after the jump!)

Prince George had what seemed to be an instructional video on how to put on skis, but no music video type commercial (shocking).

I thought for sure I would find something on Montreal's tourism site, but I came up empty handed there as well, although I think it is worth a mention that had posted a video of Montreal's most famous drag queens - mental note to go back and check that out later.

The Territories were also a let down, but I think that is more because they don't have the pool of musicians to draw from so their YouTube pages were tons of videos of stuff hey do in the cold and the Northern Lights. Why would they not want to make a music video of the Northern Lights? That just seems like an obvious thing to do.

Winnipeg had one music video listed, but it wasn't created by Tourism Winnipeg so I didn't think it was fair to include it in my list...but the white teenager rapping about Winnipeg while wearing a Shepard Fairey OBEY hat was entertaining.

I was shocked that Tourism Toronto had not made a video...shocked! I mean, it's the Great White Centre of the Universe, you'd think they'd have a theme song. Maybe they're too good for that? Who knows. I also thought Halifax would have something folksy and awesome, but Nova Scotia has got zero in terms of musical talent and beautiful scenery (combined - separately they do).

Newfoundland has some of the best tourism videos I have ever seen, but none of them fit into the cross music video classification, which was unfortunate...unless you class the newest one of the guy yodeling or whatever that is, which I don't.

Tourism PEI does not have a music video dedicated to Anne of Green Gables. I thought for sure it would be something like "Come see the Ginger Girl" with Japanese subtitles. I think all the tourism folk should take notes - like literally WRITE THIS DOWN, I am giving you gold here.

As you can see, the Tourism Calgary formula is not something that has been repeated time and time again in Canada - other places, yes, but not here. But it is not like it is so original that your mind should be blown. Nope. There have been others.

Take Victoria for example. Instead of getting an actual musician to do their song they got their CEO to play the guitar and sing a song directly to the people of Alberta - telling them that their weather is cold and awful and they should come visit. What is awful here is what I am watching, but luckily for them less than 500 people have seen it in over a year.

Tourism Vancouver obviously did one. It features the music of Watasu, two guys who used to busk on Grandville before making an album. No, neither of the guys is Snow, the Canadian reggae rapper from the 90s...I checked.

Also interesting to note that in the description for this video it states that it is, "the world's first professionally produced destination film in music video format."

Tourism Saskatchewan did a video with a country song sung by Brad Johner, which is suiting for the prairies. The goodness ends there. It looks like it was made in the 90s because it is so cheesy, but it was created in 2009 so no excuses.

Ontario made a commercial a couple of years ago that aired during the 2010 Olympics which featured PHATT al, Luke McMaster, Annick Obonsawin, Lisa Boudreau and The Framework's Ryan Isojima singing There's No Place Like This.

Do you know any of these people? I am not familiar...except of course for Luke McMaster of McMaster and James - oh the 90s.

The song is pretty brutal, I think it would be even if they didn't have a mishmash of people who didn't sound good together, but I could be wrong. It could just be the peeps.

Canadian Tourism did a video that they spliced together of a bunch of footage taken by people who clearly are not videographers.

I really like the song though, My Girl by Yukon Blonde, so that's a plus. However, I do have a swelling in my chest and may vomit after watching this.

"SNOW! BLIZZARD! MINUS FOR-TEE!" This is my biggest and bestest YouTube find...ever.

I don't think I will be able to top the look on my face after I started watching this video which appears on the Ottawa Tourism YouTube page. Obviously I never would have thought this was endorsed by any Tourism department...but they posted it, so what else am I supposed to think.

The Capital for the win!

This is is my second favorite...narrowly losing to Wilber and Team Ottawa is this amazing video about Regina...except it is not endorsed by Tourism Regina and some of the footage is of Saskatoon. It isn't real, but THE SONG IS AMAZING.

I think Tourism Regina should find the people who made it and make a deal to do a real tourism video in the same vein as this one. It's so awesomely gross  I may vomit. (And I should have to say it, but...Tourism Regina, write that down.)

So what do you think? Did Calgary beat out the rest or am I biased when I say yes, yes they did (...except maybe Wilber).



  1. You're Victoria video isn't the commercial played on TV, this one is still directed at Calgary though.

  2. Also, your Victoria one is taken WAY out of context. That old video was the result of a friendly bet with Alberta about the number of sunny days in March (or something like that). Victoria lost the bet and the loser had to sing in a video. That is not the official city video.

    The rest of the opinion in this article is probably also based on incorrect or incomplete information, so I can't put much stock in it. So yes, I think you are biased and also misinformed.


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