Blue Rodeo: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

The Canadiana that starts with the letter B for me is the Canadian band, Blue Rodeo.

You may already know that I’m a big fan of Canadian music. From Rush to April Wine to Great Big Sea to Shania Twain, we have such a wide variety of great musicians that we should be proud of.  There’s nothing I love more than being in the U.S. and hearing a Canadian song on the local radio – and then experiencing disbelief when I tell them the song/band/singer is Canadian.  Prime example:  Life is a Highway by Canadian Tom Cochrane.  The song hit #1 in Canada and #6 on the Billboard Charts in the United States. But no one knew it was a Canadian song!

So back to Blue Rodeo.  One of my favourite Canadian bands. Mostly led by Jim Cuddy and Greg Keeler, two, incredibly talented singers and songwriters,the country rock band came to be in 1984 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I love pretty much all of Blue Rodeo’s music – I never get sick of listening and singing along to their most popular songs, my favourite being “5 Days in May” from the 1993 album “Five Days in July”, also the band’s most successful album.

Lead singer Jim Cuddy has also pursued a solo career on the side while continuing to be a part of Blue Rodeo.  You can hear his Blue Rodeo influence in his own solo pursuits, such as “Pull Me Through” a great hit from 2006.

Enjoy!

Avro Arrow: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

Good morning!  I didn’t have a theme reveal, but I decided – since I’m a Canadian living in Colorado – that I am going to focus my #AtoZChallenge on Canadiana.  Words, phrases, things, foods, places.  This should be interesting.  Believe it or not, I’ve had a hard time coming up with topics for every letter of the alphabet: I think mostly because I take those things for granted.

So, today I’d like to talk about the CF-105 Avro Arrow! This is a little different than my usual kayaking and adventure posts, but I hope you’ll find it interesting…

The CF-105 Avro Arrow made its first test flight almost exactly 58 years ago (March 25, 1958). It was supposed to be a state-of-the art Canadian designed (and made) delta-wing, hypersonic interceptor, intended to fly at Mach 2 speeds over 50,000 feet.  This aircraft was going to put Canada on the aviation map.

aircraft_avroarrow_3

Source: The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

 

But it didn’t quite happen that way and has gone down in history as a legend, a conspiracy story, a failure.

In February of 1959, the entire project was cancelled and within two months, there was very little evidence that the aircraft ever existed.

2014-02-20-02-full

Source: canadianhistoryforkids.com

 

This is where things started getting interesting. There were so many theories abound: one that a Russian spy had infiltrated the production line; many political theories; and rumours that one Avro Arrow was hidden from destruction, to name a few.

Only five years ago, information surfaced suggesting that an ejection seat from a CF-105 was found in the United Kingdom, owned by a private collector, refuelling speculation about the possibility that a complete jet was saved from destruction and possibly flown across the Atlantic. The owner of the seat told CTV News that he was “100% positive” he saw an Arrow land at RAF Manston Air Base when he was a teen, living near the base.

The Avro Arrow will go down in history as a Canadian legend, and unsolved mystery and to many a missed opportunity to make aviation history.