5 Canadian artists who rocked in 2013

There was no lack of awesome coming from Canadian artists this year, but here's a list of our favourites who went the extra mile to make good this year.
 

Neil Young

How could our most storied rock legend get any more legendary? By announcing a slate of concerts to benefit the Athabasca Chipewayan First Nation in Northern Alberta.

The "Honor the Treaties" benefit concerts will raise money for their legal defence fund to fight the expansion of the tar sands on their traditional land. One of them, Shell's Jackpine, just got the go-ahead from the federal government earlier this month, despite Ottawa's finding that it's "likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects." 

Keep on rockin' Neil...


Shad

The rapper raised in London, Ont, released a new record, Flying Colours, this year. The stand out track (for #cdnpoli lovers) is called Fam Jam (fe sum immigrants) about the immigrant experience in Canada:
 
"To the guys that draw lines and make the borders real / But then bend the rules when there's more to drill / Don't turn away the stateless, think of the waste, if one in 3 refugees is a Lauryn Hill."

Franke James

The outspoken artist and author, once blacklisted by the Canadian government for her activism, took her critiques of the Harper government and its inaction on climate change to Washington D.C.  Speaking (and drawing) truth to power on Keystone and other issues, James gets a tip o' the hat for telling the world that Canada "is a dirty old man."

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

The Polaris Music Prize is great because it exposes people to some great Canadian artists. But when the long-toiling experimental rock group from Montreal, Godspeed, refused the prize for album of the year, Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, the band made us think with a powerful letter critiquing the awards.
 
The band donated their $30,000 prize to set up a program so prisoners in Quebec could have musical instruments.
 

Sarah Harmer

Kudos to Harmer, a longtime environmentalist, for headlining the "Rock the Line" concert to protest the plan from Calgary-based energy distributor Enbridge to modify its use of an oil pipeline running between Ontario and Quebec.

The 'Stop Line 9' movement is concerned that increasing capacity of crude oil on Line 9 and reversing it on Line 9B is a disaster waiting to happen.

Phoro: nrk-p3. Used under a Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0 licence.