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Anglophone North Regional Heritage Fair
Stuart McLean - Canada's Voice
My project is about Stuart McLean, a great storyteller who wrote stories for his CBC radio show, The Vinyl Cafe. He traveled all across Canada sharing his hilarious stories about Dave, a record store owner and his wife, Morley and all their crazy adventures. My project shares Stuart's life story, how he made a point to get to know Canadians in all the towns and cities he visited, his love for Canadian musicians and his battle with cancer.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
The most interesting thing that I learned about my topic is that Stuart McLean performed live shows across all of Canada, including the East Coast, Yukon and the Northwest Territories because he wanted to reach out to all Canadians. Many other performers do not travel so far north or further east than Quebec. By travelling everywhere in Canada, Stuart showed that he really cared about all Canadians and that no community was too small to visit.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
Stuart really cared about Canada. It didn't matter if you lived in a big city or a small town, he would still visit and do live shows in all corners of Canada. Stuart loved to shared Canadians' stories in his tours and their experiences influenced his work. Stuart loved music and highlighted and showcased the work or many new Canadian musicians on his show and on his tours. Stuart loved sharing with people and that's why he wrote his stories, so that he could make people happy.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
Stuart was born in a time when radio was much more popular than other forms of media; whereas today, the internet has become the major tool in communicating information quickly and easily to everyone. This is one difference that Stuart and I have have. Despite this, Stuart used many media forms to share his stories and for this reason, I was able to enjoy them. Because Stuart only recently passed away we lived in similar times, but Stuart's early love of radio influenced how he delivered his stories. It was Stuart's show "They Vinyl Cafe" that got me listening to CBC and now I listen to so many different shows on this radio channel. In a way, it was Stuart who turned me in to radio listener and a huge CBC fan.