piano music book

Serenading Toronto

Love is in the air. At least it is for Toronto, the muse of two song contests in honour of its 175th birthday. Not bad for the old gal.

The City of Toronto, the host of one of the contests, is looking for a lyrical wonder to crown as Toronto's official song. Last week, Mayor Miller referred to the Toronto song contest in one of his frequent Facebook status updates. Miller's facebook friends responded with nods to the winner of another song challenge hosted by Flow 93.5, Toronto's urban music station.

"The people have already spoken," wrote one of Miller's online pals about Omar Lunan, the recent victor of Flow's Toronto anthem contest that ended in mid-April. If his name sounds familiar, it's because Lunan was a 2008 Canadian Idol contestant.

Lunan won't likely enter his winning song into the city's contest, since it is now Flow's property. It is a catchy tune though. "Not the perfect ending of an exclamation," it describes the "dot" in true anthem style. The chanteur celebrates the city and some of its most recognizable features, like Caribana, the CN Tower, sticky summers, and Toronto's cosmopolitan feel. My own two cents is to nix the cheesy Matrix intro.

Canoe blogger, Tanya Enberg votes for a literal urban track of "grinding garbage trucks, screaming sirens..., parade whistles, honking cars in traffic gridlock, construction-season jackhammers, and a chorus of feet hitting the pavement to symbolize the insane number of charity runs that close down major roadways on any given summer day to raise cash for every cause imaginable." I would add the evangelical yelling at the corner of Dundas and Yonge of how Jesus can save me as a Toronto staple.

The city has already received hundreds of entries, says Cheryn Thoun, the city's manager of strategic communications. There are 10 days left to submit your masterpiece and win the $5000 prize. The Torontoist thinks the booty is not worth the dodgy entry process and ownership rules contestants submit to.

Thoun says the city will release the top 10 during an event in June and on the city's website, where public votes - a la true Idol fashion - will factor into the final decision.

The city has no set plans on how it will use the winning song. "It depends on the song and how it lends itself to be used," says Thoun. Let's hope it doesn't fade into obscurity like Toronto's supposed other official song from the 1970s.

Flow's promotions director was away and couldn't comment on what the radio station will do with Lunan's Toronto song.

Photo by hellembry


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