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Canadian Spaces
Saturday March 10th, 2018 with Joyce MacPhee and Chris White
A tribute to "Canadian Spaces" founder Chopper McKinnon, 1946-2013, featuring Karen Flanagan McCarthy, Doug MacArthur, Laura Smith, Arthur McGregor, Patrick Nagle, Bill Garrett... and you! Please click "Add Your Voice" to share your thoughts.

A.L. "Chopper" McKinnon founded "Canadian Spaces" in September, 1980 based on the unheard-of idea of focusing on Canadian folk/roots music and musicians. Everyone told him he would quickly run out of music -- but he didn't! Chopper hosted his final show five years ago on March 9, 2013. Since then, Chris White has carried on Chopper's work, producing and hosting Canada's longest-running folk radio program with help from numerous co-hosts. Chopper's long-time biographer, Joyce MacPhee, put together this tribute to celebrate Chopper's important contributions to musicians and listeners from across Canada and beyond.
Barrett’s Privateers
Stan Rogers - Fogarty’s Cove Canadian
Tryin’ to Start out Clean
Willie P. Bennett - Tryin’ to Start out Clean Canadian
Misty Mountain
Ferron - Backed Up Canadian
Woodsmoke and Oranges
Ian Tamblyn - Through the Years Canadian
Stumble from Vesuvio
Doug McArthur - Tears Like Rain Canadian
Brave Parade
Lynn Miles - Unravel Canadian
One Candle Burning
Bob Stark - One Candle Burning Canadian
The Longest Road
Stephen Fearing - The Assassin’s Apprentice Canadian
Calling All Angels
Jane Siberry - When I Was a Boy Canadian
You My Son
Dario Domingues - Children of South America Canadian
Puff, the Magic Dragon
Peter, Paul and Mary - Moving Canadian
My Bonny
Laura Smith - B'tween the Earth and My Soul Canadian
A tribute to Chopper McKinnon (1946-2013)
Various artists - NCRA Groundwire collage Canadian
Ain't Life Sweet
Penny Lang - Ain't Life Sweet Canadian
Canadian Space
Arthur McGregor - demo Canadian
The Hills of Connemara
Doug MacArthur - live in the studio Canadian
Interactive CKCU
Mike Mercer
I still miss Chopper to this day The last time I saw Chopper at the Ottawa Folk Festival was back in 2002 I loved listening to him on Saturday Mornings even long before I came to CKCU & when I got to CKCU in 1991 I couldn't wait to meet Chopper in person someday like I did & when the Ottawa Folk Festival started in 1994 That's where I saw,him & met him in person but I also saw him on a few occasions manly at Irene's Pub a few times & CKCU Anniversary Parties It was Great knowing & hearing Chopper as a friend He was a friend to all of us & Me too.

10:26 AM, March 6th, 2018
Allan Wigney
I have been fortunate enough to do many a fill-in for many a prominent CKCU show host. Rarely have I felt so unworthy as I did the first time I had the honour of hosting Canadian Spaces. Those Space Cadets demanded and expected the best (they still do) and were willing to put up with me; but, well, I was and remain no Chopper McKinnon when it comes to serving up two hours of the best in Canadian folk. Hell, I don't even start my mornings with a hot brown drink. Thank you, Chopper, for the opportunity and for the encouragement. Countless Canadian musicians, I'm sure, will echo that sentiment.

11:03 AM, March 8th, 2018
Lyndsay Wills Ferguson
I knew Chopper from the Toronto Folklore Centre, where I used to hang around as a teenager. Chopper was always really sweet to me. I do believe I bought my first Gurian guitar from him. I’m almost 63 now.

9:39 PM, March 9th, 2018
Shelley Ann Morris
I just want to take this opportunity to thank chopper for introducing us to some of the most beautiful Canadian music we’ve ever heard. Chopper is a true Canadian treasure and we were so lucky to have him gracing our airwaves age Saturday morning. So glad that Chris and many others are carrying on his tradition.

7:46 AM, March 10th, 2018
Paul Weber
Hearing Chopper's voice on Saturday mornings was part of my life growing up in Ottawa. What I really appreciated about Chopper was his openness to many types of "folk" music, including world music artists like Dario Domingues-- I see Dario's name in the playlist. Chopper brought my afro-pop band Cheza into the studio when no else would and provided us with a regular platform for our music.

9:58 AM, March 10th, 2018
Jim Mountain
a wonderful show today and a beautiful tribute..thank you for putting this together for a larger than life personality who is much missed, and who supported folk music and this country's amazing performers so meaningfully....a great life''s work, and life lived..

10:21 AM, March 10th, 2018
Terry Eagan
Chopper was a "must": must listen on the radio (and now internet), must learn who we should be setting our ears and minds to, and must drop in to see when the opportunities arose. If in Ottawa on a Saturday, we could count on seeing Chopper and an artist or three at "Breakfast" at Irene's after Canadian Spaces. Oh how I miss those moments, as well as at many a live-venue occasion such as the Folk Festival at Britannia Park.  I'll betcha many of us met many dear others (near and far) while hanging out with Chopper.  Beyond playing, promoting, and interviewing singer-songwriters, Chopper supported causes in the community. He was happy to have the interviewee expound on the reasons behind an upcoming event; and always ensuring that you "plug the gig". For his loyalty and devotion to the concept of Canadian Spaces, and its listeners, Cheers Chopper!

10:33 AM, March 10th, 2018
This is "our life of music" that Chopper aired on CANADIAN SPACES. We all grew with these very tunes in our heads!

10:36 AM, March 10th, 2018
Tony & Laurie-Ann Copple
Chopper deserves every accolade because he really loved the music and Canadian music seemed to love him back. Radio was the perfect medium for him, and he boosted Ottawa radio to a higher level. And in keeping his legacy so alive ever since, you deserve a chunk of accolades too, Chris. - Listening in live from South Africa.

11:21 AM, March 10th, 2018
Brian Foran
I remember Chopper from the earliest days –as Bob Stark noted, I seem to recall he worked as a lab tech, I think it was, at the Civic Hospital, when I first met him -- to his later years as the musical sage and evangelist of all things related to the Canadian folk music scene. His breadth of musical knowledge and scope of interest and appreciation of folk music was as extensive and encyclopedic as anyone around (perhaps even rivalling that of Ian Tamblyn’s :) ) And he brought that informed perception and consciousness to the playlists of every Canadian Spaces show. Your tribute playlist to Chopper is a great selection that honours just how many voices he influenced, supported and disseminated over the years. In regard to playlists, one of my favorite memories of Chopper was driving him back to Ottawa after hanging out with him and Arthur McGregor and Charlie Sohmer at an Ontario Folk Music convention in Kingston. When he got in the car, I was thrilled to pass to him a CD wallet with a whole range of folk CDs that I had chosen especially for the ride home. He took a quick look at all the selections and very kindly and gently set them aside and put his hand in his carrying bag and handed me his selection of CDs and said “Let’s play these instead – you’ll enjoy them better!” His playlist, to say the least, was stellar and introduced me to artists I have been listening to ever since. There is so much to say about Chopper but, beyond the brilliant musical presence, he will always be to me just a grand and lovely human being whose good will, kindness and generosity of spirit will be with me forever.

11:33 AM, March 10th, 2018
l Coyote c/o el Rancho Untaméd
Chopper gone? Nahh... the 'pitter-patter let's get at'er' cat, just stepped out for a smoke and followed the sounds of some live music that caught his impeccable ear, coming from further along up the trail. Fortunately he left Canadian Spaces in the capable hands of his Space Cadet protégées and their talented in-studio guests. Ace continuing wirelesss works at the Mighty 93.1, Chris and co-hosts. We all pretty much know what we like - we gravitate to it on the dial, program it, put it in heavy rotation on our home, vehicle and mobile devices - but we don't know what we might like, if we never hear get to hear it. (Thank you not, programmed 'flavour du jour' playlists. Radio, at its best, is like that good friend who's passionate about music and insists, 'You gotta' hear this!" Keeps your ears and mind open to new music, artists, audio experiences. Chopper was radio at its best. He was our good friend. Off the post and on the road (invariably up to Irene's) Mahalo ~ l Coyote 'You are ev'ry where you're 'sposed to be And I can get your station When I need rejuvenation... ' Thanks for that timely lyric, Van 'The Belfast Cowboy' Man (A most honourable Space Invader for the gig at hand.) (Again, great show CW and Co.)

11:48 AM, March 10th, 2018
Tony Turner
Chopper was the biggest supporter of all things folk in Ottawa and beyond. When I played live in the studio he listened with his whole being and knew where to take the conversation with his insightful comments and questions. His attention alone made me a better songwriter. It was great to wake up to Laura Smith this morning and learn she is coming to the left coast. The power of one campus radio station to communicate to the world is truly amazing. Thank you. Hi to my friends in the studio. Miss you all.

11:51 AM, March 10th, 2018
Longevity John
thank you from the left coast

11:52 AM, March 10th, 2018
Patrick Nagle
Beautiful show, Chris/Joyce. I think Chopper's cracking a big grin....

11:57 AM, March 10th, 2018
Karen Treleaven
Chris, Joyce, Doug, Arthur and phone in friends, Thanks so much for this wonderful tribute to Chopper who forever changed my Saturday mornings when I first began listening to his show in the 80's.

1:25 PM, March 10th, 2018
Christine Graves
Chopper was like the Santa Claus of Canadian singer-songwriter music, delivering the gifts each Saturday morning to his audience. I always felt like a kid around him, and it was an honour to be live in the studio when he went on air. I know he is listening now in on the show, hearing the comments and accolades, and especially, the music- his raison d’être! What a special contribution made, and a special ‘Space’ created, during his walk on earth. Thank you Chopper!

3:44 PM, March 10th, 2018
Greg Kelly
Thank you Chopper Thank you Chris Thank you Canadian Spaces

3:45 PM, March 10th, 2018
Geoff Johnson
Chopper turned this rocker into a folkie for a while and gave me my first bit of radio air play - said it was worth six bucks! He always encouraged local artists like me, and even though he didn’t get to hear my first CD ('Some Friends'), I’m sure he would have thought it was worth at least $5.50!

3:51 PM, March 10th, 2018
Russ Kelley
Thank you Chris White and CKCU for keeping Canadian Spaces and Chopper’s memory alive. It is the true tribute to Chopper’s lasting impact on Canadian folk music and folk musicians.

1:38 PM, March 11th, 2018
Albert Prisner
Thank you Joyce, Chris and Doug (and all the callers) for a very fine commemoration and tribute to Chopper. Among a lot of memories, it also brought to mind two lessons I learned from Chopper over the years and hours spent polishing barstools at Irene's and discussing everything (including the kitchen sink!) ==> Lesson 1. Good and wonderful stuff can come from the most humble and unlikely sources. A week never went by when Chopper wouldn't be approached by someone with a demo cassette or CD. Some were shy and stumbling, some were cocky and full of themselves, some seemed invisibly average. Chopper would listen to them all, offer some relevant words of direction and encouragement, accept the demo and actually listen to it and get back to the, and often give them space on his show. And he always reminded them... "plug the gig!" I try to remember this in all my dealings with people everywhere, all the time. Thanks, Chopper. ==> Lesson 2. You don't have to be perfect to do good and help the world along. It's no big secret that Chopper had his demons, and there were a lot of times when he was having a really bad time. However, I never saw him stop that from giving whatever he could whenever when it was called for. Even when things are bad, you can still help make things a little less bad or give a little light to someone who needs it. Thanks, Chopper. Anyway, that's what has come to mind. We can celebrate Chopper, commemorate Chopper and, maybe a little bit, we can emulate Chopper. Thanks again, you guys, for a great couple of hours of radio... and... thanks again, Chopper.

12:57 PM, March 17th, 2018