International Women’s Day: Celebrating Canadian women who rock

Mar 8, 2016 | Arts, Life, News

Katie Jones and Ryan Durgy

In the spirit of International Women’s Day we’ve chosen our top five female Canadian musicians who have made a positive impact in this country and around the world.

5. Avril Lavigne

From the beginning of her career, Avril Lavigne was pushing gender norms for women with her attitude, style and carefree spirit in the early 2000s. Lavigne was also known for wearing clothing traditionally for men (a tie) when the industry was saturated with female pop artists using their sexuality and bodies to sell music. At the time, MuchMusic and MTV were thriving as music videos were one of the main platforms artists used to sell their art. Despite female artists highly sexualized image (Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera), Avril Lavigne worked against the image of promiscuity and confidentially showcased her tomboy attitude.

Things weren’t so “Complicated” after being nominated for a Grammy and winning a Juno for her first single.

4. Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado flew onto the scene with “I’m Like A Bird” and is a proud Canadian who celebrates her Portugese heritage. Furtado has been an ambassador of  Free The Children and Me To We, organizations that focus on making a change in the world by empowering people and their choices through educated consumerism. Furtado has had an active voice in getting young people involved in Canadian politics.

Her influential music and philanthropy has us saying “Whoa, Nelly!”

3. Alessia Cara

Brampton’s Alessia Cara often sings about being comfortable in her own skin and her lyrics are full of self empowerment. Since the 17-year-old blew up onto the music scene in 2015 with her hit song “Here,” Alessia has continued with her non-conformist lyrics with “Wild Things“, where she sings “Then leave us alone, cause we don’t need your policies. We have no apologies for being.”

It comes to no surprise that she’s a feminist and thinks everyone else should be, too.


2. Celine Dion

Celine Dion’s heart really does go on as she actively supports a variety of charities and causes, according to look to the starsCeline has been financially involved in the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a patron since 1993 after her cousin died from the disease. Dion has been a household name for Canadians for decades and represents strong women everywhere.


1. Alanis Morissette

And finally, we give the floor to Alanis Morisette, a proud, vocal and active feminist in the movement toward gender equality. In an article posted Tuesday morning, Morisette addressed feminism and said society needs to empower both men and women. She also addresses the understanding of feminism, saying the concept needs to be refocused and understood. We want to say “Thank U” for your continued activism, Alanis.

There you have it, five incredibly influential Canadian women in the music industry that have not only left behind a legacy with their talent and vocal pipes, but with their everyday messages as well.

Happy International Women’s Day!