Melanson “will not respond to the specific employment matters,” the filing states, before taking some sneering potshots at his estranged wife’s professional aspirations, describing McCain as a “self-funded amateur musician” who paid for stage time (under the chapter heading: “Eleanor’s Artistic and Financial Dishonesty”). The social media declaration masked the reality that the picture captured Melanson and McCain after their private April 26 wedding at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, the stealth culmination of a four-month, long-distance courtship. “He throws these fantastic parties of ideas. “He’s accomplished, he’s bright, he’s young and I saw a picture of him . Melanson tried, but failed, to get the New York Times interested in a similar deal. Melanson’s presentation was rife with the argot beloved by donors and corporate sponsors: “the ultimate social enterprise as it weaves tremendous artistic, social and economic innovation”; “cutting edge global training facility for music and arts e-learning for professions”; “community outreach and education.”, One arts administrator who attended a presentation left unimpressed: “It’s a big visionary project presented as a big idea people could rally around but basic questions weren’t answered: Do we really need it? “Jeff is a chameleon,” says another. Though he now has a position of greater status in the arts world, he grew up, he likes to say, “lower middle class” (his father was in the military, and then a postal worker, his mother a travel agent). © Copyright 2020 St. Joseph Communications. A TSO spokesman denies this: “We are aware of no prominent donors who withheld funding because of [Melanson’s] personal situation.” “It’s a sad set of developments,” says Peter Simon, president of the Royal Conservatory. Melanson was “a breath of fresh air,” one close to the hiring process says: “We were enthused by his enthusiasm and his rapport with the orchestra; Jeff thought outside the box.” Contrary to the allegations in McCain’s filing, affiliation with the mighty McCain family did not factor in Melanson’s hiring, says the source: “Nobody thought of it as a disadvantage, nor was anybody rubbing their hands saying, ‘Oh boy, now we have access.’ ”, Melanson formally proposed to McCain on April 4 in the McCain family home in Florenceville, on the opening night of Eleanor’s “Maritime Swing Tour with Matt Dusk,” a project Melanson dismisses in his court filing as a “tour of small venues.” Colleagues in Banff watched his Twitter feed with amusement, an insider says; senior staff believed he was out fundraising: “Meanwhile, he’s chasing some lounge singer around the Maritimes who happened to be Eleanor McCain.”. TAUGHT. Those who know him speak in terms of Melanson as a fictional character. “He was considered a primo catch.” One Banff insider marvelled at the effect Melanson had: “Some of the toughest, smartest women I know became like overcooked pasta at the sight of him—all soft and starchy.” By late 2013, he was dating Calgarian Tamara Loiselle, a months-long relationship that began in the fall. One insider who knows McCain was surprised by the under-the-radar behaviour: “It’s so unlike Eleanor.” Yet their marriage remained under wraps; Hello proclaimed that “Canada’s newest arts power couple is talking about a fall wedding.” The November 2014 issue of Toronto Life’s 50 most influential people dubbed Melanson the “turnaround king”; among his “friends in high places” it named Margaret Atwood and the McCain family: “Melanson is engaged to singer Eleanor McCain.”, A month after their wedding re-enactment, on Dec. 24, all seemed well, as the couple sang Christmas carols for Cassidy Sheng, a Paralympic swimmer in the last stages of terminal cancer. Eleanor McCain’s legal battle dovetails with a new professional venture: her cross-country tour, “True North: The Canadian Songbook.” On March 6, The Globe and Mail ran a story with a generic “staff” byline about her “recording 32 famous Canadian songs, newly arranged for 10 symphony orchestras starting with the Edmonton Symphony on March 22 and ending June 13-14 in Ottawa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.” The next week, the paper broke the story of her court filing. As it turned out we managed to turn it around in a year or so in a way that was positive brand building for me—that it seemed I saved the day.”. He also famously negotiated the court order that saw her brother Michael, the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, famously pay his ex-wife a record Canadian high of $175,000 per month in 2013 in interim spousal support. Don’t Touch Me - Busta Rhymes / I Can Give You Love - The Diplomats 3. Questions answered. In July 2018, Shad released the lead single, "The Fool Pt 1 (Get It Got It Good)" from his new album, A Short Story About a War.Two follow-up singles,"The Fool Pt. At Banff, where the expansion plan has been downsized and the digital radio station shuttered, there’s a sense of embarrassment. “I don’t have a huge Wagnerian voice,” she has said, a fact that didn’t stop her from releasing five CDs featuring lullabies, Celtic songs and covers of artists, including Billy Joel and Sting; the orchestral tracks on her most recent CD were recorded with the Moscow symphony. [7] He was entered in the radio contest by his sister. “We were acquaintances catching up.”, At the time, Melanson was months into a formal separation with his first wife, Jennifer Snowdon, who was known around Banff as the “absentee wife” because she was studying graphic arts in Toronto while the children lived with their father. The TSO says it started developing the idea, timed for Canada’s sesquicentennial, early in 2015. [42], Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, International Emmy Award for Best Arts Programming, "Who is Shad? [11] The album was supported by four singles, most prominently "The Old Prince Still Lives at Home", with its accompanying viral music video. But as the hires and cuts continued, the mood shifted because it appeared that some were personal.”. [23] The alter ego was based on "the idea of a dude named Tony Braxton who likes to sing (but obviously isn't as good as the famous Toni Braxton). A Short Story About a War is a concept album, which explores the same war from multiple perspectives. You’re going to get a person who appeals to the rich, white one per cent but in a different genre?”, A similar desire to monumentalize was evident at the TSO where Melanson launched the Toronto Symphony Studio Project, a $166.4-million plan to build a “world-class film scoring stage and studio.” Toronto’s musical and film communities shook their heads in disbelief. Within days McCain and Melanson were in a long-distance relationship, an “aggressive courtship,” according to McCain, a “mutual romantic interest,” according to Melanson. Melanson’s defence, accepted by the board at the time, was that he was the victim; she pursued him. In his filing, he called Banff a “dream job” and said he was “upset” to leave. Four of his albums have been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and he won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year in 2011. Skratch Bastid, Holy Fuck, Dallas Green, DJ. Last week, Melanson fired back. In the same year, Shad collaborated with Tanya Tagaq on "Centre", a track from her album Retribution, and also recorded for Homeboy Sandman, Skratch Bastid, and A Tribe Called Red (on We Are the Halluci Nation). The series went on to be one of the 2016 Peabody Award winners[33] and won an International Emmy Award for Best Arts Programming in 2017. Throughout their career, TWRP's members have withheld their true names and always appear in costume. [22], In 2016, he released a 90's influenced soft-rock album, Adult Contempt, under the pseudonym Your Boy Tony Braxton. McCain says she’s not out to ruin Melanson’s reputation. Four of his albums have been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and he won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year in 2011. [3] In August 2016, the CBC announced that he would be replaced by Tom Power. [41] Shad and his wife, Sheilagh, married in 2016 and had a daughter in 2018. Robert Sirman, former head of NBS and head of the Canada Council, wrote in the October 2014 Literary Review of Canada that the prize gave Stephen Harper’s government cover when the subject of international cultural funding came up. Does Trump's Supreme Court threat hold water? Scratch Music Group is the leading & largest DJ resource in the world. That drove people crazy.” Melanson’s gravitation to the spotlight was another source of chatter. “After the shock, I think the general feeling was one of being used. The fact these so-called trailblazing ideas had been trailblazed by others—Charles Landry, John Howkin and most famously Richard Florida, whose book The Rise of the Creative Class touted the “creative economy”—was irrelevant. The day before her arrival was announced, a full-time employee in the department was let go without cause. [27] The album was short-listed for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize, marking Shad's 4th Polaris short-list nomination, the most of any artist. Melanson was executive director of the National Ballet School from 2006-11 (Fernando Morales/Globe and Mail/CP), As one insider told Maclean’s, to make change, you have to break some eggs. He told Canadian Business in 2010 that he recognized his limitations as a singer early on: “I began to realize that, as much as I loved being on stage, many people were as talented as I was.” He joked in a talk that everyone has an artist within, but “that is not to say that you all are going to make a living as artists—please don’t try.”. He’d just orchestrated a wildly ambitious reinvention of the centre; his contract stipulated 12 months notice—he gave four. Already, the mudslinging has begun. That would make their trip to New York City that weekend—where Melanson represented the Banff Centre at a gala and the couple attended a performance of Madame Butterfly at Lincoln Centre—a working honeymoon of sorts. I love you so very much and I won’t ever take what we have for granted.”, The pair were married in April 2014 (left) after a four-month relationship (Facebook). Melanson’s attention-getting innovations included building the Royal Conservatory of Music community school into the largest of its kind in North America, adding world music, jazz and hip hop to the curriculum, as well as outreach to marginalized communities. After they returned, she was sidelined, ultimately put on paid leave and terminated in September 2013 after months of mediation. Melanson downplayed the price tag, saying it wasn’t exceptional compared to multi-billion-dollar cultural builds in Hong Kong and Dubai, even Toronto. By the time a settlement was reached in September 2014, with non-disclosure clauses all around, Melanson was in Toronto about to take over at the TSO. Poppa Large - Ultramagnetic MC’s / Space Funk - Manzel 4. [5] His mother worked as a lab technologist in a London hospital and his father was a machinist. In July 2013, a month after the Alberta floods, the board signed off on the big vision whose budget had ballooned to just shy of $1 billion; it was a colossal, some predicted doomed, ambition for a non-profit with a $58-million operating budget, $21 million of which comes from government, largely from the province, which would soon be struggling. In his native Halifax, he's been astounding audiences since the turn of the decade, eventually rising to capture the DJ Battle crown at the Scribble Jam indie hip-hop festival in Cincinnati in both 2003 and 2004. And since he’s a Canadian Gatsby, he used cultural institutions as his shiny mansion. By the early 21st century, arts administration had become a matter of seduction: teasing money from donors, inspiring staff, getting people in the seats, and securing talent. [12] In 2008, The Old Prince received a Juno Award nomination for Rap Recording of the Year and was a short-list nominee for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize. “Jeff has taken advantage of the Canadian arts community,” the statement reads, going on to describe him as a “shameless self-promoter” who overstated his achievements, misled employers, and sexually harassed at least one employee at the Banff Centre who reached a settlement with the organization on the issue; the document names the woman. Whether or not anyone else took note of Melanson’s failed ambitions, Eleanor McCain certainly did, and marshalls them to dramatic effect in her case against Melanson.

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