Today in Madonna History: September 15, 1984

borderline

On September 15 1984, Madonna’s Borderline peaked at #25 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart.

Today in Madonna History: August 29, 1989

Cherish Single

On August 29 1989, the music video for Cherish – the third single from the album Like A Prayer – premiered in Canada.

The song was written by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and was one of the first tracks completed for the album. Madonna had been reading Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet during breaks from rehearsals for the play Speed The Plow, which inspired the lyrics for the song.

The video was filmed on July 22, 1989 at Paradise Cove Beach in Malibu, California. It marked the first time that late photographer Herb Ritts had crossed over to shooting and directing a music video, which he agreed to do reluctantly at Madonna’s insistence. He quickly became a highly sought-after music video director, winning numerous awards for his work within the medium.

“Cherish” hit the top of the charts in Canada on October 9th, spending two weeks at number-one. It went on to become the ninth best-selling single of the year with a total of seventeen weeks on the RPM Singles chart.

While no maxi-single was issued for Cherish in North America, the single included the previously unreleased Like A Prayer outtake Supernatural – another collaboration with Patrick Leonard.

Today in Madonna History: July 6, 1987


On July 6 1987, Madonna played the first of two sold-out shows at the Forum in Montreal, Québec, Canada during the Who’s That Girl World Tour.

The gigs marked Madonna’s first concert in the city. The local press gave the shows glowing reviews and complimented Madonna’s sincere efforts in speaking French with her audience.

While the majority of the tour played to stadiums, a handful of arena dates in North America – including the shows at the Forum – required the use of a less sprawling stage configuration.

Thanks to Tonytheturtle, FYO PIX for the video clips & Caroline Duval for the images!

Happy Canada Day!

Madonna’s French-Canadian roots trace back to the mid-17th century and some of the earliest European settlers to arrive in what was then known as New France. If you have French-Canadian roots dating back to the initial Acadian/Quebec settlement period, chances are you will find yourself related to Madonna.

After researching my own family tree, I was initially surprised to learn that I am Madonna’s 8th cousin through my mother, who is Acadian, and that we share several familial ties. But as it turns out, there is nothing unusual about this at all. Due to the small pool of early settlers – and the relative isolation of the ones who remained or returned to what is now Canada following the Great Expulsion of Acadians – French Canadians would remain relatively genetically isolated for the next several centuries.

This bottleneck period resulted in a situation in which it is now actually more rare for a French Canadian to find another French Canadian that they are not directly related to. More often than not, multiple direct relations will be shared.

A bit of Canadiana for all y’all! 😉

To current, former, aspiring and honorary Canadians, have a happy and safe Canada Day!

Justin & Jay

Today in Madonna History: June 22, 2006

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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!)

Today in Madonna History: May 28, 1990

Madonna Toronto May 27 1990 550

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.”

Today in Madonna History: May 2, 2016

On May 2 2016, three of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour dancers – Jose Gutierez, Kevin Stea & Oliver Crumes – were interviewed by Gill Deacon for CBC-Radio’s arts and culture show, Q.

The dancers were in Toronto to promote their documentary, Strike A Pose, which was being screened during the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival between April 27–May 7 and the Inside Out Toronto film festival from May 27–June 5, 2016.

For anyone who hasn’t yet watched Strike A Pose, be sure to check it out! It’s a beautiful film!

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