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Digitial Humanities @ uOttawa

Geographic Representation



Map of Top 100 songs by country (2010-2020)

To use this interactive map, hover over the black icons to view the number of songs by artists assigned to their respective countries. Click on the pink and orange icons to view additional content. To display the map in fullscreen, click on the fullscreen button at the bottom right. You can view this interactive map in Thinglink by clicking on the logo.

Canadian radio is unique within the North American context in that it is governed by the Canadian Broadcasting Act, which seeks to promote and support Canadian programming. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) Canadian music quota policy states that 35% of all music broadcasted on the radio must be Canadian content (CRTC, 2002). For a song to qualify as Canadian, it must meet at least two of the following conditions: the music or lyrics are written by a Canadian, the music or lyrics are performed by a Canadian, or the music is a live performance that is recorded, performed or broadcast in Canada (CRTC, 2002). To determine whether the songs in the dataset were Canadian, we relied on the tags provided by the Mediabase database.

This dataset counts 249 unique artists but this does not accurately represent each individual member that is part of each band. The artists are associated to their song that charted, and the song is associated to the collective countries the artists are from. This explains the orange pin in the map above that describes the songs from artists that are from various countries. In total, this dataset counts 17 different countries. As seen in the second graph, the non-Canadian artists from other countries outnumber the Canadian artists in every year. When looking at those countries individually, we see that Canadian artists make up the biggest portion of the dataset at 42.7% with 464 songs, 454 of which comply with Cancon regulations (97.8%). This data alone is not enough to confirm if the seventeen reporting radio stations are following the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) guidelines for Canadian content played on the radio, as the top 100 songs per year do not make up all the songs played.

Once again, the yearend reports reveal the hold that white men have on active rock music even when only looking at Canada. The second chart below examines the most charted Canadian artists by their gender, race and sexuality. Only the top 10 Canadian men artists were included in the chart to simplify the visualization of data. In reality, there are another 74 Canadian male artists in the dataset. We clearly see in bold colours the few but important women, BIPOC and two-spirit Canadian artists. The amount of times they all charted together (23) still doesn't even rise up to the top 5 Canadian men. As it will be addressed in the discussion, this is not only the case for Canada.


Featured Artist

Formed in 2013, the all-woman band The Beaches are described by their agency as glam rock and garage, undeniably warm and unquestionably cool (Feldman Agency). Since 2017, they made the charts a total of 7 times with 5 songs over a 4 year period. All 5 songs comply with the Cancon regulations and count as Canadian content on Canadian active rock radio. In 2018, they won their first Juno Award for "Breakthrough Group of the Year". They are the only all-woman band of this dataset.