I’m about to age myself (and apparently now I’m someone who says things like, “I’m about to age myself”)—but here we go.
Anyone who grew up in Canada in the late 1990s or early 2000s and had access to cable TV is undoubtedly familiar with MuchMusic. The channel, which filmed in a Toronto studio on Queen Street that now houses CTV, celebrated not only music, but music fandom.
It was Canada’s version of MTV (you know, before we got our own MTV, and before the channel became more about reality shows than music). Much was a true phenomenon for a moment—far from perfect, but it was ours.
I remember visiting Toronto from Vancouver for the first time as a preteen and freaking out because my mom had booked us a tour of the Much studio. I remember spending hours after school watching music videos by everyone from Arcade Fire to Missy Elliott. I remember having such envy that I didn’t live in Toronto and couldn’t attend the MuchMusic Video Awards. And I remember, many years later, interviewing Rick Campanelli when I was in journalism school in Toronto; he was at Entertainment Tonight Canada by then, I tried hard to play it cool even though I’d watched him interview some of my adolescent self’s favourite musicians.
Anyway, the nostalgia is all too real, and it’s coming to the Vancouver Playhouse tomorrow (November 24) for the BC premiere of the new documentary 299 Queen Street West - The MuchMusic Experience.
With incredible access to the Much archives, the documentary, directed by Sean Menard, tells the story of the channel from the perspective of the VJs who made it work—and who became household names in their own right.
OG VJs Monika Deol and the aforementioned Campanelli will be in attendance for an “Intimate and Interactive” (my heart!). Tickets are almost sold out, but a few remain and can be purchased here.