Monday, 19 September 2011


deadmau5, wall of fame
There will be no Joel Zimmerman going on the Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Wall of Fame this year, and city councillor Janice Wing wants to know why.

In a tersely-worded e-mail to council, Wing says she was "outraged" to learn the multi-Juno Winner, known to millions of fans as deadmau5, could be overlooked for the Wall of Fame not once, but twice.

Zimmerman's grandfather Don Johnson submitted his name for consideration this year, as did Zimmerman's mother Nancy previously. Both times, Zimmerman was bypassed, despite massive worldwide success.

Wing is questioning whether the process to get on the Wall of Fame is "fair and unbiased," and wants to know how the Arts & Culture Committee came to their decision.

"It's a sham," she says. "There's a problem with the process."

"He and James Cameron are arguably the two most famous artists to ever come out of Niagara Falls … I just don't see how they can bypass him."

Zimmerman, 30, has had another huge year, solidifying his place as one of the world's top electro/progressive artists. The former Westlane student won his fourth straight Juno award for Dance Recording of the Year, and on Nov. 5 he'll headline the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Wing wants to know – what more does Deadmau5 have to do?

"If this isn't bias, I don't know what it is," she says. "Other than sheer ignorance, perhaps."

Niagara Falls producer/artist Brad Pine also thinks something is amiss. He credits Zimmerman as a huge influence, and can't believe his home town still hasn't formally recognized him. In light of the Wall of Fame snub, he's pushing city council to declare a Deadmau5 Day in Niagara Falls.

"I was personally going to nominate Joel (for the Wall of Fame) this year myself," he says. "I didn't bother because I felt he was gonna get the nod so easily. When I think of Niagara Falls, I think of James Cameron and Joel Zimmerman/Deadmau5."

"I definitely suspect there is some type of bias going on," he adds. "If the A&C Committee doesn't know how huge Deadmau5 is, then they are far more dead in the head than any deceased mouse I've ever come across."

Arts and Culture Committee chairwoman Karen Fraser is taken aback by the criticism, and is dismayed Wing took her complaints public instead of phoning her. It's not policy for the committee to discuss who (and who doesn't) get inducted before city council approves the list.

She resents accusations of "bias" against either Zimmerman or his mother, a former Arts and Culture Committee member.

"Absolutely not," she says. "We don't play that game."

This year's inductees are Diana Coatsworth, Honeymoon Suite, Bob McAdorey, Brian Smylski, Frank Shuster and the landscape architecture of Oakes Garden Theatre.

Fraser says the nominating committee uses a confidential "point system" when evaluating submissions. Categories include outstanding achievement, how long they resided in Niagara Falls, and impact on the community.

Zimmerman started his career in Niagara Falls but currently lives in Toronto.

This isn't the first time a name has been conspicuous by its absence on the Wall of Fame. It wasn't until last year that director James Cameron was inducted, though Fraser insists the delay was because no one had put his name forth until then. Once approved, the nominee or their surviving family must give permission to be inducted, which wasn't easy for a director as busy as Cameron.

Fraser laughs off suggestions the eight-member Arts and Culture Committee simply doesn't know who deadmau5 is.

"We all know who he is," she says. "The committee itself is varied in its make-up – different kinds of artists, different age groups, different worlds are all at the table. No, he's very well-known and we're all very aware of him.”

(source: The Forterie Times)

Joel comments: "This year's inductees are .... the landscape architecture of Oakes Garden Theatre. the landscape architecture of Oakes Garden Theatre????? damn... got my ass kicked by a bunch of fucking plants? dude, this is killin me over here.

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