Yes, they did. Much like the American performers and celebrities who have famously coalesced this year to create political songs and commercials, a group of Canadian artists has decided to leave its mark on the Canadian election. Led by Toronto’s own K-OS and Ian Lefeuvre of The Hundreds and Thousands, the group supports Avaaz Canada’s “Save the Planet: Stop Harper!” campaign, and its members recently collaborated to record the song “You Have a Choice.”
Under the umbrella of Avaaz Canada’s wide-ranging efforts to “close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want,” the new, targeted campaign seeks to inform the public of what its supporters believe are Stephen Harper’s environmental shortfalls. According to Avaaz’s Executive Director Ricken Patel, “under the Conservative government our country is actively wrecking international progress on climate change. This song is an eloquent reminder that Canada doesn’t have to be this way—it’s our choice.” “You Have a Choice” was written and produced by K-OS and Ian Lefeuvre, and it includes a slew of Canadian artists such as Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent, Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace, Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene, and the Arts Offstage Choir. In the words of Patel, “these bright lights of the Canadian music scene are sending a message to voters: you can make a difference, and we need to come together and strategically support candidates who will defeat Stephen Harper and fight climate change.”
With only a week until Canada heads to the polls, the song’s creators hope the final product will persuade voters on the left to work together and unseat some of Harper’s top MPs. Considering the high volume of e-mail traffic and the Facebook awareness the campaign has already received, the artists’ efforts may just be the last push needed to close the voting gaps in the campaign’s targeted ridings.
“You Have a Choice” can be downloaded on Avaaz Canada’s website and will soon hit radio airwaves across the country.
Photo by Qinn from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.