Feature

Show him the Canadian Tire money –
Roots Radio Thursday Exclusive

We ran this story almost exactly a year ago. Since that time, thousands of people have heard of The Great Canadian Tire Money Caper of 2012. Even The Wall Street Journal ran a story on Corin Raymond’s great adventure. Well, the double CD Paper Nickels and the 144 page booklet that accompanies it are almost set for release.

The Andy Frank Show on RTDS.ca is pleased to announce that Corin will spend two hours previewing the album, and will share many of the great stories behind The Caper, this Thursday, January 17th. The Andy Frank Show airs Thursdays at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM on RTDS.ca.  – AF

Musicians looking to their fans to help foot the bill for a project is becoming more and more common (our friend Dave Cool over at Bandzoogle just posted a great piece full of tips on how to do this, by the way) but Toronto singer-songwriter Corin Raymond and his community of fans are doing things a little differently.

He’s going to pay for his next album’s recording with Canadian Tire money. And he’s asking fans and friends to go into the glove box, the kitchen junk drawer, or wherever it is we hoard our green and red bills, and send them in support of his project.

Appropriately enough, the project was inspired by a song. Corin wrote “Don’t Spend It, Honey” with his friend Rob Vaarmeyer (who also had a song featured in our Best of 2011 series) about a man begging his lover not to buy luggage or a trailer hitch or anything else that would leave him with neither his woman, nor his stack of 5 and ten cent notes.

The story goes that while playing the song live in Western Canada, fans kept throwing Canadian Tire money up on stage, and when Corin got back to Toronto, he found out that the record studio he was planning to use accepts Canadian Tire money at par. Now Corin’s set up a website, Don’t Spend It Honey!!, and is putting out the word: trade your Canadian Tire money for art.

If you have a stack of Canadian Tire money, you can either bring it to the live album recordings on January 24th and 25th at Toronto’s TRANZAC club, where Canadian Tire money is being accepted at par for cover or merchandise payment, or if you’re further afield, you can send it straight to his door:

Corin Raymond
39 Oxford St
Toronto ON
M5T 1N8

Since we planned our editorial schedule around posting this piece today, it seems we’ve been scooped by just about every news organization in the country, including the front page of the Toronto Star and CBC Radio’s As it Happens.

That’s just the kind of thing we here at Roots Music Canada like to see happening to Canadian singer-songwriters. There will always be a small time, but this week, Corin’s made it big.

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17 comments

  1. avatar
    M L 14 January, 2012 at 14:50

    This would be a lot better story if the Canadian Tire money was donated to Haiti, rather than just subsidizing his career

  2. avatar
    Al Fraser 15 January, 2012 at 19:45

    Corin is such a sweet guy with the unabashed enthusiasm of an un-jaded soul. He came across this idea honestly which is a creative process in itself working as self-publicity and a record fundraiser, sheer brilliance. Give credit where credit is due.

  3. avatar
    Lisa 16 January, 2012 at 17:20

    Collecting Canadian Tire money has been done for years by charities like Humane Societies and Women’s Shelters, so it’s not sheer brilliance, but it is self-interest. I also wonder what value this starts to put on music when we treat it like a charity.

  4. avatar
    John Zytaruk 16 January, 2012 at 18:21

    Unbelievable that anyone could begrudge this brilliant idea. Us indie artists have to get our music out there any way we can and to accuse Corin of “self-interest” is ludicrous. In an era where the chances of a label stepping in and handing you the means to a career are pretty much non-existent you have to be innovative. Anyway I’d be willing to bet that Corin has made more than his fair share of contributions to benefits and charities over the years. Sheesh.

  5. avatar
    Ross neilsen 16 January, 2012 at 18:28

    WOW. When I stumbled across Corin’s new project I turned red then green. Red because I thought this very idea less than a year ago when I asked my fans if they would give me their canadian tire $$$ to me if I asked them? Many said yes. My problem was I couldn’t figure out how to turn it into real money. I turned Green when I saw Corin found a Toronto studio that accepts CT $ at par (also brilliant). This is a great idea.

    I paid for my last album by having a four month bottle drive. I worked hard to get to peoples homes and local bars. People were happy to do this. It made them feel good. I know this because they told me so. It also made me feel good to make a record without going tens of thousands in debt. Am I a bad person because i inched into the boy scouts of canada’s empties? I don’t think so.

    Corin’s fans want him to continue doing what he does because it brings them joy. Many are happy to enable this wonderful circle. If you are not one of those people that’s fine, and your right, but don’t hate on folks who struggle to do so. Adversity lives in everyone’s life and it’s a small person who judges another. Unless you know what it’s like to live how Corin lives? Do you? I don’t. I only know what it’s like to live how I live.

    As for the “Value” of music? Isn’t that a personal measurement? Strictly subjective? It obviously means enough to some folks to give from their own existence, to Corins, because his enriches theirs. Besides, in my opinion….music has been a charity to the world since it’s inception.

    Instead of getting all upset because Corin is robbing haiti and turning music into charity shouldn’t we, instead, be happy he’s making more art?

  6. avatar
    Alysha 16 January, 2012 at 18:32

    I love this idea! It’s a unique spin on a traditional fan-funded campaign like Kickstarter. I’m sure the fans that choose to give money to the project do it for the love of music; music that may not be created otherwise. Most musicians I know live on less than minimum wage, so it’s a reality that fan-funding is often their only option. There’s full disclosure to where the money is going, so if you don’t think it’s a worthwhile cause, there’s no pressure to contribute.

  7. avatar
    Manitoba Hal 16 January, 2012 at 18:50

    I wonder why when someone figures out something new and creative there are always those who want to tear it down or trash the idea? Corin found a way to make a record and gain a whole lot of publicity by asking not for cash money but Canadian Tire Money. I know I’ve considered myself rich when I had $4.00 of the stuff. I can’t imagine having $300 or $1000. He’s doing something great. He’s making music and it’s not costing anyone anything. I mean how many of us shop at Canadian Tire just because they give out their money? Really that is just a bonus. I say congratulations Corin and I hope you sell a million copies of your record.

  8. avatar
    Paula Fredericks 16 January, 2012 at 19:10

    This is “crowd-sourcing” at its best, and if everyone gave a LITTLE to support music, and a LITTLE to support other worthy causes, the world would function a whole lot better. OK, so “there’s nothing new under the sun” since like Ross says, he had this idea last year…and others have been collecting Canadian Tire money for charities for ages… but why shouldn’t Corin Raymond ask for a bit of help in this interesting way? No one has to contribute even 5 cents if they don’t want to. It’s fun, it gets people thinking, and it’s working. Probably beyond his dreams. More power to him. Every time we go to the bank we pay a dollar here, two dollars there, in banking fees. Why shouldn’t a talented artist use creativity to source funds for a specific project? It’s a free will donation, no one twisting your arm. And while it is also cool to fund things yourself, by making personal sacrifices and saving up, it is not the only way. The naysayers kinda give the impression that something is being “stolen” here… taken from a “more worthy cause” perhaps, or that music is being maligned and termed “a charity” … Every time we make a decision to support music and musicians, by attending a concert in a hall, a bar or in a house, by buying a CD or a download, purchasing merch at a show, or whatever else we do to entertain ourselves, we are making a conscious choice with our money. Whether it is loonies and toonies or 50 cent Canadian Tire “bills” – we have choices and opportunities to find balance. People ask us “why would you host a house concert” or say “don’t you get anything out of it?” We host people like Corin (and we look forward to hosting him in the flesh someday) because we believe in what they are doing, love their music and enjoy having people listen in our living room. Here’s to great music, live or recorded, and all fair opportunities to get it heard!

  9. avatar
    Karyn Ellis 16 January, 2012 at 19:55

    Haiti verses Music… rrrrreally? Wow. I’m utterly surprised by all the grumpy pants comments here. I for one celebrate Corin’s amazing enthusiasm and delightful creativity!! xo

  10. avatar
    Mike 16 January, 2012 at 20:18

    Good on you, Corin. It’s a good idea turned into a great idea and who cares if people have done it before? It’s still fun and it helps get the job done for musicians who have less and less opportunities these days to develop income. Good luck on the live recordings!

  11. avatar
    Jim Ansell 16 January, 2012 at 20:24

    Haters gonna hate. That’s the way they are. Corin’s project is a real grass roots endeavour that is worthy of a few bucks that are idle in your glove box or stashed in a drawer. Money only works when it’s in circulation, and what better way to circulate it than making art…its value gets multiplied many times over in the joy that it brings those who have an open mind and heart.

    Go Corin!

  12. avatar
    Emma 16 January, 2012 at 21:15

    In his poem “Apology”, Shane Koyczan (a wonderful Canadian poet!) says: “I’m tired of living in a world that says people only come together when faced with catastrophe.”

    Full disclosure: I am involved in this project. I run the website, am helping Corin where needed, and am having SO. MUCH. FUN. Seeing friends and strangers happily engaged in this is an absolute joy. Perhaps I am a bit biased by being so close to it, but I can say that I am 100% sure that the heart of this is in the right place.

    I’d like to note that Corin actually blogged about ‘haters’ just last night. The post is called “The Fun Percent”. Maybe, for those who are questioning the integrity of the project, this post will help clarify Corin’s intentions. Here it is:
    http://www.dontspendithoney.com/?p=210

    Self-interest has no place here. The album Corin is recording with The Sundowners (on Jan 24 and 25 at the TRANZAC, get tickets at Paradise Bound, the Cameron House or online at http://www.dontspendithoney.com/?page_id=10, thanks) is a double-album featuring, I believe, 22 songs, only two of which were penned himself; the rest are covers written by peers – not because he doesn’t have more songs of his own that he could record, but because he genuinely supports his community. Corin’s not doing this for Corin. He’s doing it for everyone! This is about having fun, sharing joy and engaging a community to be part of something that will last beyond the 15-minute media storm.

    Also, throughout this project I have seen comments all across the Internet suggesting that charities supporting people who need to eat or need houses or first aid etc., need this Canadian Tire money. First of all, I don’t see people boycotting the Coupon Collectors Clubs, who probably have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of Canadian Tire dollars hanging out in little plastic envelopes doing nothing productive at all. Second of all, if only charities could make do with twenty-five cent donations!!!!!!! If only!!! People, give your REAL MONEY to charities, for goodness sakes, if you feel so strongly about them needing support! Or, go start a collection of your own. Or do anything more pro-active than sitting around harrumphing a guy who is making music and having fun. As if the charities I donate to regularly wouldn’t mind me calling them up and saying, “Hey, instead of that thirty bucks a month, can I just give you my Canadian Tire money? I have a lot of it. There’s gotta be, oh, $2.75.”

    Maybe it’s hard to understand how fun this is until you hug a whole pile of Sandy McTires, but I’m happy to say that there are far more people openly enjoying and participating in this whirlwind of goodness than not. 🙂

    PS. If you come down to the TRANZAC, come see me, and I’ll let you hug a whole pile of Sandy McTires so you can feel the goodness for yourself. I’ll be the one dressed as the cute ‘lil scotsman himself. You can even hug me, but I’m not sure which is better.

  13. avatar
    Andy Frank 17 January, 2012 at 11:29

    Entrepreneurship is often met with cynicism, and if there’s one thing independent artists are it’s entrepreneurs.

    Critics don’t always take an honest look at how they manage to feed themselves, what the glass houses they live in are made of.

    Go Corin !

  14. avatar
    Allison Brown 22 January, 2012 at 16:12

    As a former Canadian Tire cashier, I must interject on the topic of Canadian Tire ‘money’, which as stated above, isn’t actually money but a ‘coupon’. I think its a fantastic idea for Corin to raise some dough for his project with CT notes, but I beg the fans to please please please organize your denominations (5 cents, 10 cents, etc) into neat stacks rather than all jumbled and folded in your envelope. The cashiers have to count all of it out when you use it to pay for stuff and it holds up the line big time if you come in with a gigantical wad of mismatched CT bills, …plus you have to count it all again at the end of your shift. Seems like Corin is having a blast counting it out and organizing it as it gets him closer to getting his recording happening, but might ease his task a bit if you could have it in order by denomination when you send it over.

    Corin – if you’ve been in touch with the CT people they actually have these machines that count it out for you.

    This all makes me want to buy a lawnmower or a table saw or something else I don’t really need just so I can send all the CT $ Corin’s way…!

    Cheers
    AB

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