February 07, 2009

Rush, Neil Young, and Northern Cree

Canadian rockers, powwow group and actors vie for GrammysSome well-known and some not so famous Canadian acts are up for Grammys, including rock icons Rush and Neil Young, and Alberta's powwow dance group Northern Cree.

Rush, up for a sixth Grammy nomination, is in the running for best rock instrumental performance—for Hope (Live For The Art Of Peace)—while Neil Young is up for best solo rock vocal performance (No Hidden Path). Neither has ever garnered a trophy.Neil Young, pictured here performing in Toronto in 2007, is up for best solo rock vocal performance for No Hidden Path at the Grammys.

Other Canadian nominees include Rufus Wainwright, polka king Walter Ostanek of St. Catharines, Ont., actors Ellen Page and Michael Cera for their contribution to the Juno soundtrack and Joel Zimmerman, a Niagara Falls, Ont., DJ who performs as Deadmau5. In the classical music division, Montreal composer Marc-Andre Hamelin and Toronto soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian will also be waiting to see if their names are called.

Northern Cree, nominated for their fourth time, have never been in the victory circle either. The 15-member group, which includes dancers, has been around for 20 years.

Powwow member Steve Wood, a drama teacher at a First Nations high school near Edmonton, says winning isn't his sole goal. Wood says it's more about being a role model for his students.

"That's exactly why I'm doing this—to inspire them to believe and do whatever they want, to show that anything's possible," said Woods, who plans to attend the ceremony Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see 2008 Grammy Nomineees.

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