Last updated
Origin Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Genres Progressive rock
Years active1975 (1975)–1985 (1985)
Past members André Paiement
Rachel Paiement
Wasyl Kohut
Marcel Aymar
David Burt
Michel Kendel
John Doerr
Michel Dasti
Bill Cymbala
Ben Mink
Mary Lu Zahalan

CANO was a Canadian progressive rock band in the 1970s and 1980s. They were the most popular and internationally successful musical group in Franco-Ontarian history. [1]



CANO evolved out of the Coopérative des artistes du Nouvel-Ontario (Artists' Cooperative of Northern Ontario ), an artists' collective established in Sudbury, Ontario in 1970. [2] The cooperative was responsible for developing many of the current cultural institutions of the city's Franco-Ontarian community — the Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario, the Prise de parole publishing house, the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, La Nuit sur l'étang and the band CANO all evolved out of projects launched by artists associated with the cooperative. [2]

Musical group

The group consisted of singer/guitarists André Paiement and Rachel Paiement, violinist Wasyl Kohut, guitarists Marcel Aymar and David Burt, pianist Michel Kendel, bassist John Doerr and drummer Michel Dasti. The band was formed in the fall of 1975, [2] and performed their first concert on December 1 at La Slague in Sudbury. [3] [4]

The band performed both traditional French folk songs and original material by Aymar, the Paiements and Robert Dickson. With their third album, Eclipse, they began performing English-language songs as well; their fourth album, Rendezvous, consisted predominantly of English songs as the band made its bid for success in the larger English language market. [5] The band were most successful on francophone pop charts in Quebec and France, but they had notable hits in English Canada as well. Eclipse and Rendezvous, notably, both charted on CFNY, while the singles "Rebound" and "Carrie" reached No. 97 and No. 78 respectively on the RPM charts in 1979 and 1980.

In 1978, André Paiement committed suicide. [5]

Spirit of the North, a compilation issued in 1980, traced CANO's integration of pop, rock and jazz influences into what was originally a folk-based style. [5] In the same year, some of the band's music appeared in the documentary film A Wives' Tale (Une histoire de femmes), about the 1978 INCO strike in Sudbury.

Following the departure of Rachel Paiement in 1980, the band released the album Camouflage under the band name Masque; it was the band's only fully English-language album. [6] Kohut died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1981, just weeks after the album's release, and was replaced by Ben Mink. [6] By this time the band were based primarily in Toronto.

CITY-TV used a track by the band as its theme song for Great Movies in the 1980s, [7] and the band also recorded film scores for several National Film Board productions. [7]

In 1984, Aymar, Burt, Mink, Mary Lu Zahalan and Rob Yale recorded the band's final album Visible, [7] and played concerts in Ontario, Quebec and Japan before retiring the band.


The band was also the subject of the National Film Board documentary CANO, Notes on a Collective Experience. As well, CANO were involved in the creation of two music festivals in Sudbury, the bilingual folk festival Northern Lights Festival Boréal and the Franco-Ontarian cultural festival La Nuit sur l'étang. [2] Both festivals continue to operate today.

In 2003, Universal Music Canada released a CANO greatest hits compilation as part of their 20th Century Masters series.


In early 2008, the band announced plans to begin re-releasing their music on iTunes. The band re-released Rendezvous in the iTunes Store in summer 2008, and Eclipse in spring 2009. The band performed a reunion show at the 2010 La Nuit sur l'étang festival, with Monique Paiement, André and Rachel's younger sister, on lead vocals. [8]

Celebrating 35 years of CANO in 2011, Aymar, Burt, Doerr, Dasti and Kendel reunited again in June 2011 for a series of final concerts in Ottawa, North Bay, Sturgeon Falls and Kapuskasing, with Michel Bénac of Swing, Monique Paiement, Andrea Lindsay and Stéphane Paquette as supporting musicians. [4] The Ottawa concert was recorded for broadcast on TFO. [4]


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  1. "Francophones plan talent contest". The Globe and Mail , May 10, 1984.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "That Band from Sudbury". The Globe and Mail , November 30, 1977.
  3. "CANO interview with David Colin Burt",
  4. 1 2 3 Marc André Joanisse (June 16, 2011). "Un dernier "gros show" pour CANO". Le Droit . Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 "CANO leaves roots behind in pursuit of masses". Toronto Star , March 21, 1980.
  6. 1 2 "Masque is still a band that merits attention". The Globe and Mail , May 15, 1982.
  7. 1 2 3 "Bravo CANO! Local fans revel in revitalized band". Toronto Star , February 14, 1985.
  8. "CANO reunites at La Nuit sur l'étang". Northern Life , March 30, 2010.