Contact Us

36 Years Ago: Rush Named Canada’s Official ‘Ambassadors of Music’

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

To the bemused surprise of many longtime fans (and the band members themselves), Rush has become “cool” in the States in recent years, receiving everything from their own well-reviewed documentary to the cover of Rolling Stone and enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But back home in their native Canada, they’ve been appreciated pretty much from the beginning.

In fact, on Jan. 8, 1979, the Canadian government paid the band an impressive show of respect, giving Rush the official title of Ambassadors of Music. The honor came with a plaque presented by the country’s Consul General in Chicago, W.J. Collett, which read “We wish to recognize the international aspect of the music by this talented Canadian musical group and note the interest shown by American audiences in both performances and recordings.”

Near as we at Ultimate Classic Rock can tell, this remains the one and only time Canada’s named an artist or band Ambassadors of Music, which has become something of a sticking point for some fans of other proudly Canadian acts (as one Bachman-Turner Overdrive supporter put it, “Never has a proud nation of donut eaters gotten it so wrong”).

Still, not to slight BTO, Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Paul Shaffer, Barenaked Ladies or Anne Murray, but it’s hard to argue that anyone deserves the honor more than these guys. The band belongs to the world at this point, but when you think about Canadian rock, who do you think of? Rush.

You Think You Know Rush?

Subscribe to Ultimate Classic Rock on

Geddy Lee’s and Other Rockers’ Yearbook Photos

Next: Top 10 Rush Songs

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Ultimate Classic Rock

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!