“Can Con” is a Canadian system of quotas that require radio stations to set aside a percent of airtime towards playing Canadian-created music. If you want to go down the rabbit hole of what qualifies as Can Con, here is a great Can Con writeup from the Frontside Group.

Because of this system, you sometimes get exposed to some unexpected acts here in Canada. Musicians that never made it big globally.

This is a collection of Canadian “Can Con” gems that I like.

If it sounds like a budget Madonna, then it’s… CanCon!
Keep in mind that by the time this track came out, Madonna had already put out 3 Albums.
Candi has another Madonna-like song worth checking out called Under Your Spell.

I discovered Martha and the Muffins through this gem of a series from the 1980s profiling Toronto’s neighbourhoods:

I’m sure that Gino Vanelli’s Black Cars inspired the goth band Sisters of Mercy. Listen for the vocal similarities with Walk Away:

And now, for a lesser-known Canadian musician from a more recent decade: