A few exhibitions back, I showcased the first thirteen characters I created for the (then) new Canadian Boys series, which of course still grows from strength to strength to this day. If you read through the character profiles I conveniently provided, you may have noticed that Toronto is a musical type, loving to sing and dance. This isn’t a comic-relief trait of his – it’s a serious career, at least for him (but not for his fans, who rush to him in their besotted droves).
A 21-year-old man. The most ‘cosmopolitan’ of the gang, he is a master of song and dance, writing his own compositions and choreographing his own routines. His signature song, Canadian Apparel, which celebrates the colour of the Canadian fashion industry, has become a hit for many, who will even imitate his posture whenever they see the music video on TV, or hear it on the radio. He has gained the moniker “Toronto The Good” as a result of his catapult to fame. His parents, Napanee and Deseronto, are greatly proud of his achievements in the arts, and he still pays visits to them at their house regularly.
As mentioned in his character bio, Toronto’s most famous song, one of the first he wrote and recorded, is the colourfully-anthemic ode to the Canadian fashion industry, Canadian Apparel. This poster, drawn to promote the song and its famous music video, shows him posed in that distinctive stance that has made him an icon in the Canadian Boys universe. His fans and others often copy the pose when they hear the song or see the music video on TV – even his own parents, Napanee and Deseronto, have been known to listen to their radio and hear it come over on the airwaves, igniting parental pride in their son and his musical achievements.
While Toronto has obviously recorded more songs and albums since then, Canadian Apparel is still his signature tune. His fans frequently call for him to perform it at the end of a concert/gig, or whenever he makes special appearances on TV or the radio, resulting in smitten cheering, applause and thousands of bright flashes of their cameras. I even made Toronto’s childhood – or rather adolescence and subsequent rise to fame as a musician – the basis of a movie idea. The alliteratively-named Toronto’s Tale, the second Canadian Boys movie after Once Upon a Time in Canada, charts how Toronto got on the musical path and how he got to wrote that future hit.
(Somewhat coincidentally, there IS a Canadian Apparel in real life; however, the song’s title is meant to emulate American Apparel – I knew about the real one soon afterwards.)