There has been a lot of ink spilt on the cultural effects of Canadian geography.
There’s an irrefutable fact though — the hardest place to tour out of in this country is the West Coast. You have to add two days to every tour because the time zones work against you. There is no way you can fly in on gig day if you are playing Toronto, or sometimes even Winnipeg. On the other end of the tour, you have to build in a whole day to get you home.
If you are driving the tour and heading as far east as you can, the first two and a half weeks of the tour are sparse gigs separated by vast distances before you reach the gig-rich, lavishly peopled east. Even if you manage to put together a tour that covers expenses and lets each band member walk away with some cash, long drives are the main cause of band breakup.
All of which makes me excited about having some West Coast acts at this year’s Summerfolk, including Carmanah and The Paperboys. Both bands have overcome that geographic barrier. One is young, just at the start of their national career, while the other has been a going concern for over a quarter of a century.