Pierre Juneau, who died this week at eighty-nine, watered the flowers in his cultural garden in an exemplary way. As chairman of the CRTC, he mandated a minimum of Canadian content in the recording industry and thereby became the father of the now flourishing Canadian pop music scene (presumably, his personal tastes notwithstanding). Few of the recipients of Juno awards have ever heard of him. He will also be remembered for his many achievements as an untiring defender of public broadcasting. He was, like his friend the other Pierre (Trudeau), a perfectly bicultural Canadian.
And last week Helmut Kallmann, another memorable benefactor of Canadian music, died at almost the same age. Born in Berlin, he became a leading historian of Canadian music and co-editor of the Canadian Encyclopedia of Music, as well as an effective organizer of musical Canadiana at the National Library in Ottawa. He was honoured by the City of Berlin for his work assisting the Berlin government with exhibitions documenting the lives of Jewish residents in his neighbourhood.
The third triumph of cultural cross-fertilization was the CBC’s launching of a bouquet of streamed channels of music on the Internet: ten stations for classical music, seven for pop, five for jazz, four for rock, and so on. The combination of high tech with musical treasures was clearly achieved in the spirit of Beethoven, whether the CBC knew it or not. He celebrated the invention of the metronome in the second movement of his Eighth Symphony.