On June 29 1998, Madonna’s Ray of Light single peaked at #3 on RPM’s Top 100 Canadian Singles chart.
As with all the singles from the Ray of Light album, the title track was issued by Warner Music Canada as a 2-track CD single and as a CD maxi-single. In the U.S. the album’s CD singles were issued in cardboard sleeves with “draw pack” trays and the CD maxi-singles in “FLP digipak” cases, while in Canada the two configurations for each of the album’s four domestic singles were packaged in standard CD jewel cases with printed inserts.
On June 24 1996, Madonna’s cover of Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore peaked at #24 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart, which was then tabulated by RPM – Canada’s long-running music industry publication that folded in the year 2000.
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore was Madonna’s only fully promoted North American single to not be issued commercially in any physical format in Canada until the release of 4 Minutes in 2008, by which point Warner Music Canada had ceased domestic production of physical singles and maxi-singles altogether (2006’s Jump CD maxi-single was the last). Considering this distinction, the song managed to perform respectably well on the Canadian Singles chart based on airplay alone. In the U.S., where it was available commercially on CD-single, cassette-single and 7″ single, it only manged to climb to #78 on Billboard’s Hot 100, becoming her lowest charting single to date at the time (excluding her first two singles, neither of which charted on the Hot 100).
On June 22 2006, Madonna played the second of a two-night run at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. The shows were the only Canadian dates during The Confessions Tour, with Live Nation’s Arthur Fogel citing scheduling conflicts with Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, which they had been attempting to route into the itinerary as well.
The concerts also marked Madonna’s welcomed return to Montreal after a thirteen year absence. She previously played at Olympic Stadium during The Girlie Show Tour in 1993, which followed up her first concerts in La Belle Province during 1987’s Who’s That Girl Tour with two dates at The Forum.
(Live photos from July 22 2006 were shared by fans via Madonnalicious.com – many thanks!)
On May 28 1990, Madonna played the second of a three show run at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada during her Blond Ambition Tour.
As the story goes, the concert on May 28th was attended by a Toronto police detective who became uncomfortable with Madonna’s simulated sexual theatrics. The detective complained to the Crown attorney, who became convinced–based on how it had been described–that the show on the 29th should not be permitted to proceed with similar content.
Supt. Frank Bergen was one of the constables sent to follow up on the complaint on May 29th, which was subsequently captured in Madonna’s film Truth Or Dare. Bergen recalled the events in a recent interview with The Canadian Press:
What I was struggling with was how do you go to the microphone and tell everyone the show is cancelled? My role and my position was we were not going to shut the show down. We were portrayed as being real knobs, if you will [in the documentary]. I don’t think we were…I don’t think we ever got to the (point), nor would we have, where we walked up onto the stage – and onto her bed – and handcuffed her. Then we would’ve been part of a different history.”
It took a year before the officer would hear about his cinematic debut in Truth or Dare, when one afternoon his teenage neighbour excitedly shouted across the backyard that he’d spotted him on the big screen.
Bergen said he respects concerns over obscenity but concedes it would’ve been difficult to satisfy a “loose interpretation of the Criminal Code.”
On December 4 2011, shoe designer John Fluevog told the Calgary Herald’s Theresa Tayler that he never expected that Madonna would pay her respects by whipping out a pair of shoes he had gifted to her, putting them on during a scene in her infamous, documentary Truth Or Dare.
“Yah like ‘em?!” she said, as she flirted with the camera, showing off the “Munster” platforms. At the time, it was a massive publicity break for the respected, but still little-known, Canadian designer.
Fluevog told Tayler that he rarely tells the story of how Madge ended up with a pair of his kicks:
“I don’t really like giving away shoes. It’s not what I do. This is a business. One night I was watching Madonna on one of those American talk shows. She was being very naughty, talking about spankings and saying all of these silly things. I thought, this is a game player. Her whole thing is a game. She needs a pair of my shoes.”
Fluevog then sent one of Madonna’s stylists a pair of his shoes and he never heard back.
“Not a thank you, not anything. Then, someone told me she wore them in the movie . . . I didn’t like Madonna’s game. I found it annoying, but I respected what she was doing. The movie moment was a game-changer for Fluevog. Things exploded for us. It was all a bit of shock to me.”
On October 21 2006, Jump was released as the fourth and final single from the album Confessions On Dance Floor. It was written by Madonna, Stuart Price & Joe Henry and produced by Madonna & Stuart Price.
In Canada, the CD maxi-single for Jump is notable for being Madonna’s last single to receive a commercial release in any physical format. Her subsequent Warner-era singles were imported from the U.S. by Warner Music Canada.
On July 18 2004, Madonna played the first of three sold-out dates at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre during her Re-Invention Tour. Playing to a combined total of over 52,000 fans, the shows were the only Canadian stop on the tour and marked her first concerts in Canada in eleven years.
At the second show Madonna proclaimed to those in attendance that they were the best audience of the tour thus far, while the final Toronto date saw Madonna in an uncharacteristically playful mood. Interrupting the show’s normally swift progression between Papa Don’t Preach and Crazy For You, she joked about the infamous 1990 threats of arrest and whipped the audience into a cheering frenzy with her self-described “unprofessional” behaviour.