were a Canadian progressive rock
band in the 1970s and 1980s. They were the most popular and internationally successful musical group in Franco-Ontarian
CANO evolved out of the Coopérative des artistes du Nouvel Ontario
(Artists' Cooperative of Northern Ontario
), an artists' collective established in Sudbury
in 1970. 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 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.
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 owned a farm near Sturgeon Falls
as a collective, and did most of their recording there.
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. 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.
In 1978, André Paiement committed suicide.
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.
Following the departure of Rachel Paiement in 1980, the remaining musicians recorded the album Camouflage under the name Masque.
Kohut died in 1981.
In 1984, Aymar, Burt, Ben Mink and Mary Lu Zahalan revived CANO for a tour. They recorded the band's final album, Visible, and played concerts in Ontario, Quebec and Japan before the band was retired for good.
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
. 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 will be re-releasing their music on iTunes. The band accomplished one new digital release so far, as of August 2008, with the album Rendezvous, which until then, had only been available on vinyl.