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Carly Rae Jepsen to Write Canada 150 Anthem? She's Paul Shaffer's Pick

Today in Saskatoon, CBC stars David Sutcliffe and Genevieve Garon host the latest stop of the 2017 Starts Now speaker series. (Stream it live at and join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @CBCLive hashtag #Canada150.)

A few days ago it was Toronto's turn to share ideas for celebrating Canada's 150th, and Paul Shaffer was among the day's invited speakers.

For 27 years, Shaffer has traded one-liners with David Letterman from behind his piano, and long based out of New York, it's been decades since he was learning "Chopsticks" in his Thunder Bay hometown - or befriending comedy legends like Gilda Radner, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy and Martin Short as the musical director of Godspell. But Canada will be part of him forever: the land, the people -- and the song.

"Canada," for those who weren't alive in the '60s (or are just too lazy to Google), is a tune written for Canada's 1967 centennial by then-CBC TV host Bobby Gimby.

Shaffer still knows it by heart; he pounded it out during his 2017 Starts Now speech - along with snippets of "Call Me Maybe" and "My Heart Will Go On" and just about every Canadian pop mega-hit imaginable.

And with another historical milestone upon us, Shaffer's Canada 150 challenge is this: we should write a new anthem, one that celebrates our talent.

"Let's come up with something now," Shaffer told CBC Live after leaving the stage. "With all the talent that we have shown here in Canada, that we have shown the world that we have, we're the biggest. In every area of music. Surely we can come up with a song that will show the world how proud we are to be Canadians."

Shaffer could write it, but he has a suggestion for a different Can-Con candidate.

"Some of these kids, like Carly Rae Jepsen," Shaffer said, "she could come up with something."

Maybe even something with him. She's sung duets with Justin Bieber, Owl City, Marianas Trench, so clearly she works well with others."Yeah! Me and Carly Rae Jepsen," said Shaffer. "We're about the same size."

For more from the Toronto 2017 Starts Now conference, watch CBC Live's video with attendees including host Yannick Bisson, Manifesto executive director Che Kothari, Hotel Rwanda producer Martin Katz and more. Find out how they want to mark Canada's 150th anniversary.

(Produced by Jamey Ordolis, Craig Cooper, James Cooper/CBC Live)

Further info on the travelling speaker series can be found at


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