Arts & Entertainment
5 min

Canadian Music Week set to rock

Rihanna, Hunter Valentine, Diamond Rings and Heart

Some rock-and-roll fantasies are set to become reality when Canadian Music Week starts in Toronto on March 19.
 
Among the festival’s big acts are Rihanna, Metric and Heart. On the queer side, CMW is bringing in Hunter Valentine, Diamond Rings and Mount Mariah, among others.
 
But there isn’t a quota of gay acts at the festival. “I wouldn’t say that my brain goes, ‘Okay, I have to pick, you know, 10 queer artists for the festival,” says CMW director Cameron Wright. “But you know, as a gay man myself, I identify with a lot of different music.
 

“In New York, when I found Mount Mariah, at that time I didn’t know that they were queer-related. I heard the music, I loved it, and I wanted to bring them up here. And then when I found out they were queer-related, I was just, you know — it fit.”

 
This year Proud FM is sponsoring a queer showcase, on March 20 at The Great Hall. That event includes Hunter Valentine, Kieran Strange and The Box Tiger.
 
But perhaps the hottest queer act at CMW will be at the International Comedy Festival, March 22, when Sandra Bernhard performs at the Winter Garden Theatre.
 
Below is a video interview with Wright and Lucas Silveira, of The Cliks, who has a new album coming out this spring. Watch xtra.ca for upcoming video interviews with Sandra Bernhard, Hunter Valentine and Mount Mariah.