In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday today, here are 150 facts about some of our favorite Canadian rockers!

Listen for facts like these all Canada Day long on the Border’s World Class Rock 106.1 The Goat


Nirvana once opened for the Tragically Hip in 1989. It was at a small bar in Georgia for about 40 (very lucky) people

Bands such as The Guess Who were believed to be a part of the British Invasion

Ronnie Hawkins – who went on to form The Band with Robbie Robertson – is hailed as the first true Canadian Rockstar

Canadian band The Sheepdogs became the first ever unsigned band to grace the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine

Because of the amount of non-Canadian influence on many of songs (from songwriters and producers) some of Bryan Adams’ music isn’t considered Canadian by the CRTC

Millions of Canadians tuned in to watch a live concert put on by the Tragically Hip in the summer of 2016 from Kingston, Ontario.

The Raupers were the first ever Canadian band to sign an American recording contract

The Ugly Ducklings were a huge rock hit in the late 60’s. Their single “Nothin” landed them the opening gig for the Rolling Stones at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1966

Before becoming Steppenwolf, the band would play blues/rock shows at small bars in Toronto under a number of different names

Three Canadians played at Woodstock – Neil Young, Ronnie Hawkins and David Clayton Thomas of the band Blood Sweat and Tears

The Guess Who’s American Woman became the first Canadian Rock Song to make it to #1 in the U.S.

BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business” is hailed as one of the most influential songs of all time

The Tragically Hip got their name from a line in the Elvis Costello song “Town Cryer”

I Mother Earth got their name from one of their own lyrics, written while the band had a different name

Gord Downie almost caused a Calgary Radio station to lose it’s license after dropping multiple f-bombs in a live interview

The Hip’s Blow At High Dough had a surge on the U.S. Rock Charts after being added to popular video game Rock Band in 2010

Billy Corgan is a HUGE fan of Rush, calling himself a “Fan Boy”

AlexLifeson’s Real name is Aleksandar Zivojinovic

Geddy Lee’s real name is Gary Weinrib

Our Lady Peace is named after a church the band members all met at in 1992

Raine Maida’s real name is Michael but he chose to use Raine because there was already a Mike in the band

The Guess Who are not members of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

Canadian Rockers Monster Truck pay for jerseys and ice-time fees for a pee-wee girls hockey team in Hamilton

Monster Truck was formed when two rival Hamilton rock bands came together – they were called The Reason and St. Alvia

Five Monster Truck songs have been featured on video games since 2013

Nickelback were originally named The Village Idiots

They changed their name to Nickelback because Mike Kroeger used to say that when he would give change the customers at the Starbucks where he worked

In 2006, Nickelback beat the RHCP for an American Music Award for Best Pop/Rock Album of the Year

Nickelback is #2 only to THE BEATLES for bestselling foreign rock band in the U.S. of the 2000’s

Neil Young’s middle name is Percival

Although Neil Young is Canadian, his mother’s ancestors can be traced back to be directly involved in the United States’ Independence

Neil Young battled polio as a 7-year-old boy

Neil Young began playing guitar after receiving a ukulele in his Christmas stocking in 1958

After Steppenwolf broke up, they tried to make a comeback as New Steppenwolf but it fell short

The term “Beatlemania” was the invention of Sandy Gardiner, a music writer for the Ottawa Journal. He used it to describe the behavior of band’s fanbase in an article on November 9, 1963.

Out of the top 20 selling albums in America from the last 30 years, three are from Canadians:  Come On Over/Shania Twain (#2, 15,522,000), Jagged Little Pill/Alanis Morissette (#3, 14,796,000) and Falling Into You/Celine Dion (#12, 10,803,000).

Rush has been cited as a major influence on everyone from Metallica to the Foo Fighters to the Smashing Pumpkins.

Grunge wouldn’t have been possible without the influence of Neil Young

Bryan Adams is such a good photographer that he’s been allowed to do portraits for Queen Elizabeth.

Although we’re the seventh-largest market in the world for recorded music, we’re the third-largest exporter of musical talent to the rest of the world

Nearly one-fifth of the country have been known to watch at least a portion of the JUNO Awards broadcast.

In December 2011, Canadian’s occupied four of the top five positions on the US Billboad chart:  (Michael Buble, Justin Bieber, Drake and Nickelback)

Ottawa’s Paul Anka wrote the theme for Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show as well as “My Way” for Frank Sinatra.

Vancouver’s DOA is credited with coming up with the term “hardcore” to describe a certain type of punk.

And here’s even more about some of our favorite Canadian bands:

Bryan Adams -Quit school at 16 to make music

-Protested the regulation of the The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications for his album, Waking Up the Neighbours because it didn’t meet their Canadian content standards and didn’t receive much radio airtime

-Was in the movie Pink Cadillac

-In the 80s he was named Canadian Artist Of The Decade by the Canadian Recording Industry Association

-His father was a Canadian diplomat so Bryan in Europe and Asia when he was young

-When he was 17 he was the singer for Vancouver band Sweeney Todd

-Back in 1999 he released a photograph book with pictures of Sara McLachlan, Neve Campbell, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain. Proceeds went to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

-He’s a vegan and says, “I abide by the rule that if it looks like it’s going to clog your system, it probably will.”

April Wine -From Nova Scotia

-Guitarist David Henman and drummer Ritchie Henman are brothers (both left during the record of the bands 3rd album). Bassist Jim Henman is their cousin

-Released over 20 albums

-The band broke up in the mid-1980s after recording their 11th album, Animal Grace and reunited in 1992 with a sold out concert in Manitoba

Kim Mitchell -Full name is Joseph Kim Mitchell

-Lead singer and guitarist for Max Webster

-Until July 31, 2015 he was a radio host in Toronto (had that gig for 11 years)

-From Sarnia Ontario

-Go for a soda was featured in the opening scene of the 1985 Miami Vice episode “Buddies” and was used as a commercial song for Mr. Pibb which was later lampooned by American Dad

-Kim Mitchell played guitar for Tom Cochrane’s Brave and Crazy

-In 1992 he made a cameo in a Kids in the Hall sketch

-In November 2004 was awarded the National Achievement Award by SOCAN

-Mitchell provided a guitar solo on the song “Wind It Up” from the Barenaked Ladies

-In 2006 he opened for Def Leppard In Toronto the next day Kim Mitchell released his eighth studio album, Ain’t Life Amazing

Trooper -From Vancouver

-Originally the band was called Applejack and were the ones who wrote Raise a Little Hell. After hearing Applejack perform, Randy Bachman signed the band to his “Legend” label.

-Once they were signed to Legend label they changed their named to Trooper.

-In 1979 Trooper received a Juno for Group of the year

-In 1998 the band was on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the show played the band’s music throughout their 8th season

-In 1999 Trooper received the SOCAN Classic Awards for We’re Here for a Good Time and Santa Maria which means the songs had over 100,000 documented radio plays

-In 2010 they celebrated 35 years together and played at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Victory Ceremony

Rush -Rush ranks 86th with sales of 25 million units in the U.S.

-The group has been awarded 24 gold, 14 platinum, and 3 multi-platinum albums

-Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013

-In 1979 the Canadian government named them “Official Ambassadors Of Music

-It took three years for Rush to settle on a band lineup

-Drummer Neil Peart writes most of the lyrics

-“Geddy” came from his grandmother’s pronunciation of “Gary” – she had a Yiddish accent.

-Rush booked a gig before having a name for the band, when they were coming up with a name last minute drummer John Rutsey’s older brother yelled, “Why don’t you call the band Rush?”

-In 1973, Rush decided to release their first single before they released an album. Side A was a cover of a Buddy Holly song called “Not Fade Away.” On side B was a Lee/Rutsey song called “You Can’t Fight It.” This single wasn’t released worldwide. No record company in Canada would produce Rush’s music, so they formed their own record company named Moon Records. The single was released only in Toronto and other parts of Canada for $0.69. It was often given away for free. It is very rare, which makes this single worth a fortune today

-Influenced by Cream and Led Zeppelin

-With every 4 studio albums they release a live album

-Guitarist Alex Lifeson owns and operates a small consumer product design engineering and manufacturing firm (The Omega Concern), is part owner of a Toronto restaurant (The Orbit Room), and is a licensed aircraft pilot and motorcycle operator.

-Geddy Lee and his daughter Kyla appeared in the episode “Will You Be My Lorelai, Gilmore?” of the TV show Gilmore Girls, but he was partially hidden by a crowd of people.

-Lifeson is married to his first girlfriend, and Lee is married to his high-school sweetheart. Peart was married for 22 years before his wife died in 1997.

Theory of a Dead Man -The band started when singer Tyler Connolly met Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger and handed him a demo. Kroeger liked what he heard and signed Theory of a Deadman to his own label, 604 Records

-Back in 2008 Theory of a Deadman performed at the Junos after a Canadian tour called Journey to the Junos

-Theory of a Deadman played the halftime show at the 96th Grey Cup

-Theory of a Deadman performed the theme song, “Deadly Game” for the WWE’s No Way Out pay-per-view in 2006

Tom Cochrane -From Lynn Lake Manitoba

-He has 8 Junos

-He is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame an officer of the Order of Canada and has an honorary doctorate from Brandon University

-In September 2009 he was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame

-He purchased his first guitar at age 11 by selling a toy train set

-He has three Humanitarian awards. The Canadian Music Industry Humanitarian Award, Allan Waters Humanitarian Award and the Henry H. Knowles Humanitarian Award

Neil Young -Neil was born in Toronto but moved to Winnipeg as a teenager when his parents divorced

-His mother was a panelist on a Canadian quiz show and his father was a sports writer for the Toronto Sun

-In 1982 Geffen Records gave Young complete creative control but (unsuccessfully) sued him when the albums were unsuccessful, Geffen thought Young was making them poorly on purpose

-Young boycotted the 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame presentation because he felt the event was too commercial. Seats at the dinner cost $1,200 each

-At age 5, he contracted polio. The disease damaged the left side of his body and may have contributed to seizures he would experience for years to come

-He used to drive a hearse, which he named Mortimer

-Young is the first artist to record two MTV Unpluggeds. He was so upset about the quality of the first one he showed up again

-He is a part owner of the Lionel train company. And holds patents on model railroad controls he uses with his son Ben

-In 1995, Pearl Jam recorded an album with Young called Mirror Ball. Because of record company restrictions, the name Pearl Jam could not appear anywhere on the album, but each member is named individually

Nickelback -When Bassist Mike Kroeger was working at Starbucks. The coffee products would cost $1.95, so he said to the customer when giving change: “Here’s your nickel back.”

-Chad Kroeger went to juvenile detention for breaking into his school 11 times

-Chad Kroeger’s real name is Chad Robert Turton. Kroeger is the surname of Chad’s half-brother and bassist in the band Mike

-In 2008, they signed what’s known as a “360 Deal” with Live Nation, leaving Roadrunner Records, which is owned by Warner Brothers. Their contract covers recording, touring, and merchandising, and is estimated to be worth about $60 million

-From Hannah, AB