Hollerado Meets The Mayor

We're a band from Canada. This is a blog about us meeting a bunch of the country's mayors on our tour.

September 21, 2011 - Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson

Vancouver was the first time that the meeting with the mayor took
place on their turf, at city hall. It was a huge building with marble
floors and flags and pictures of past mayors and even some Olympic
torches. Even though we got dressed up for the occasion, the formal
setting made us a little more nervous than usual. Fortunately, Gregor
Robertson is a really cool guy that immediately put us at ease. He
plays tuba and the drums, listens to good music, and bikes to work in
his business suit every day (yes, even when it is raining!).
We chatted about a whole bunch of things, and even though he was on a
tight schedule, he was very engaging and answered every question we
had.

Since we were at city hall, we asked to see the key to the city and we
learned that there is no such thing! They do give out an honor called
“Freedom of the City” and the recipients get free parking for life!
You can’t park on the sidewalk though, it has to be a real parking
spot.

Even though our meeting went 20 minutes longer than it was supposed
to, the mayor insisted on giving us a tour of city hall. We saw the
council chambers and he also showed us a giant mace that is used to
ceremoniously club Boston Bruins fans.

Meeting with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson 

Last night we had our first day off of the tour.
We needed it to make the 15 hour drive from Lethbridge to Vancouver.
The drive was breathtakingly beautiful as it always is, and not nearly as scary as it is going to be once the snow comes next month. We spent the evening in a $59 a night Howard Johnson with our classy tour mates, Young Rival.
Why so classy you ask? Well what other awesome garage rock band has its own brand of wine?
We got to try this subtle 2011 vintage, and despite the fact that we drank it out  of those plastic motel cups that come wrapped in more plastic, it was totally delicious.

Last night we had our first day off of the tour.

We needed it to make the 15 hour drive from Lethbridge to Vancouver.

The drive was breathtakingly beautiful as it always is, and not nearly as scary as it is going to be once the snow comes next month. We spent the evening in a $59 a night Howard Johnson with our classy tour mates, Young Rival.

Why so classy you ask? Well what other awesome garage rock band has its own brand of wine?

We got to try this subtle 2011 vintage, and despite the fact that we drank it out  of those plastic motel cups that come wrapped in more plastic, it was totally delicious.

Rolled into Lethbridge, not sure how a Monday night would turn out. No need to worry, Todd the promoter had done an excellent job and the venue was filled.

Lethbridge Mayor Rajko Dodic met with us backstage and shared some jokes, words of wisdom and even his shredding skills.

It had been about 30 years since he’d played guitar in front of a crowd, but he was up for the challenge and we have some awesome video to prove it.

Mayor Dodic really connected with the Lethbridge crowd, who chanted his name when he came on stage and strapped on a guitar. Not only was the mayor cool, so was this crowd! He then proceeded to rip it up with us in a rollicking blues jam, then a Neil Young cover. Check out the videos and let us know if you wish Rajko was your mayor.

Click here to read an article from the Lethbridge Sun-Times about the mayor and why he wanted to meet with us.



Lethbridge jam out with Mayor Rajko Dodic

Hollerado and Lethbridge, AB Mayor Rajko Dodi

September 18, 2011 - Regina – Mayor Pat Fiacco

Mayor Fiacco showed up to the venue in a badass-looking jacket and training clothes. 

We soon learned that he was a Canadian boxing champ in the 80s, and still works as a ref and organizer for our national boxing team.  He runs a boxing club in Regina, as does his brother and many of his friends.  They must have had some wild brawls as kids.

Boxing has taken him around the world, including to the 2006 Olympics in Athens, Greece.  After retiring from the ring, he brought his fighting spirit back home to Regina.  He said he wanted to become Mayor because the people of Regina didn’t seem proud of their city and needed inspiration.  Since becoming mayor 11 years ago, he has striven to inject some liveliness into Regina and its inhabitants.

He was excited about a program in which kids are able to become the “Mayor for the Day”.  Once a month, anyone in grade 6, 7, or 8 in the city can write an essay explaining why they love Regina and would like to be Mayor.

The winner gets to accompany Mayor Fiacco on all his meetings in the city for the course of the day, no matter how busy he happens to be.  Also, he tried for years to get concerts happening in the football stadium where Rough Riders play.  He finally broke through the red tape and Regina landed the Rolling Stones in 2006.  Since then, dozens of huge acts have come to play for his city.

He has kids of his own, and like a good parent, that means sometimes tough decisions that aren’t popular in the short term. It is his worry that many leaders in Canada aren’t willing to trade popularity for proper planning for the future.  According to Pat, this is what led to a multi-billion dollar infrastructure gap in Canada, resulting in lackluster facilities, aging roads and the kind of negligence that led to the collapse of bridges in Quebec.

At one point Pat pointed out that The Exchange, the venue we were sitting in, was a great example of youth getting involved in the life of their city.  A few years ago it was in need of renovation and fresh management when a young team took on the task of rejuvenating it.  Today, it is the city’s best venue for up-and-coming bands, with facilities for concerts, fund-raising events, film and art showings, and plans to develop further.  Pat talked with pride about how it embodies exactly the kind of project that he wants to see bring life to his city.
 
It dawned on us that Mayor Fiacco could knock us all out if he wanted to.  He’s still a scrapper. Luckily, our meeting with him went well and there was no risk of a fist fight.  We wish him luck and hope to see him again.

Hollerado and Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco

Hollerado and Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco

Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco.

September 17, 2011 • Winnipeg

We think John K. Samson from The Weakerthans should be the mayor of Winnipeg.

Unfortunately, he is not, and neither the current mayor, deputy mayor nor the acting deputy made themselves available for a meeting. That’s cool though. After speaking with Mayor Hobbs in Thunder Bay we had a lot to think about (see below).