Reviews - Fringe 2014

Fringe Review: The Great Canadian Tire Money Caper

By Mackenzie Kristjon Jenkyns
Published July 18, 2014

If you have ever saved Canadian Tire money, this performance is for you. Without getting too far into the details, Corin Raymond wrote a song a couple years ago about Canadian Tire money that went viral on the internet, and people from across the country started mailing him their saved Canadian Tire money. Eventually he raised enough to fund his most recent record Paper Nickels. (I won't tell you how much but it's impressive!)

In this performance, Corin regales the audience with the full story of how what seemed like a funny joke snowballed into an avalanche of high-profile media attention including CBC's The National, the front page of the Toronto Star, and, perhaps most interestingly, the Wall Street Journal who went to the trouble of flying into Toronto to witness the actual piles of cash.

I had never heard of him in January2013 but I actually attended one of the Paper Nickels CD releases in Toronto (which he describes in this piece). At the last minute, Wax Mannequin had asked me along, and I quickly found myself washing the tables in advance of the show with Corin Raymond and was struck by how genuine and friendly he seemed.

At the venue, thousands of dollars of Canadian Tire cash were not just on display but overflowing through the Tranzac -so I can attest to the veracity of the tale. In fact, at one point, it was flying through the air the way you would see confetti at a big rock show. Oh the largesse!

An interesting subtexts that came forth concerned the value of money and what it means to "earn" money. For anyone that's been to the Dundas Buskerfest, they will appreciate some of Corin's busking stories and the inevitable familial conflicts that arise when children/grandchildren take unexpected paths in life. "When are you gonna get a real job?" etc.

Especially refreshing was the simplicity of the set-up. There was a stage and some lights. No props, no set changes. Just great storytelling. In some ways, it was a little like seeing a Canadian version of a Henry Rollins spoken word performance. But I'm sure Henry doesn't take Canadian Tire money at par.

Mackenzie Kristjon is an Icelandic-Canadian singer-songwriter and all around creative force. He has published numerous books including the award-winning Culinary Saga of New Iceland. He also has roots in community radio at CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph. To hear/see/download his music, you can visit thismaddesire.bandcamp.com.

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By Ray (anonymous) | Posted July 20, 2014 at 19:29:27

The show is simple but completely compelling. Raymond weaves some minor stories through the main story, masterfully. He does it with all with apparent ease. His love of his art comes through the telling which is funny, yet humble. It's a piece worth seeing.

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By Jeannine (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2014 at 09:16:23

Mr. Raymond presents his story to the audience with the enthusiasm of a tv evangelist; but attending his one man show makes you feel as though you've just had coffee with your best friend from high school. He had my attention immediately when he modestly took to the stage in his 'The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton t-shirt, then kept it by fascinating the crowd with his personal journey. I'll never look at a paper nickel the same way again. Stay gold Mr. Raymond.

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