- author, Holly Honderich
- To roll, From BBC News in Washington
It’s a good time to be a Swiftie. The 33-year-old singer is in the middle of her biggest stadium tour to date – with a three-hour, 40-song set spanning every era of her career. Since 2019, she has released four albums and completed two reissues, including her beloved 2010 album, Speak Now.
However, Taylor Swift’s Canadian fans aren’t so thrilled. The Eras tour, which began in March, includes more than 100 shows through summer 2024, in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Australia and Brazil. But, at least so far, Swift has no plans to perform in Canada. Has she forgotten the existence of the country?
This apparent snub inspired Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to personally appeal to Swift. After announcing 14 additional shows next year in the UK and Europe, Trudeau appeared in her Twitter responses asking her to reconsider the schedule.
“It’s me, hi,” Trudeau wrote, referencing Swift’s song Anti-Hero. “I know there are places in Canada that would love to have you. So don’t make it another cruel summer. We hope to see you soon.”
It seems Trudeau speaks for many other Swifties who feel exiled up North and wonder why they can’t have cool experiences.
“It’s devastating,” said Leila Title, 33, a marketing director in Toronto. “Disappointment is the best way to describe it.”
Initially, Title thought Swift would include Canadian dates throughout the international tour. And when shows for Mexico and South America were announced, with nothing planned north of the U.S. border, she began to fear it would be a failure.
“I still think it’s possible. I still have to think it’s possible,” she said of a Canadian tour. “But that’s becoming less and less likely.”
Jackie Engelberg, another Toronto resident, had hoped to see Swift at one of her New York shows in May 2023, her “only option” without any stops in Canada. But despite Engelberg’s best efforts – “fighting Ticketmaster bots, fighting resale sites” – she couldn’t find an affordable ticket.
So, like Title, Engelberg thought he would wait until the Canadian tour was announced.
“Every other tour she’s done, even the stadium ones, has at least had Canadian dates,” Engelberg said. But when the opportunity for a Canadian announcement came and went, she worried about missing a Taylor Swift tour — which would be the longtime fan’s first.
“I’m obviously extremely disappointed, as are all my fellow Swifties in Canada,” Engelberg said.
She was surprised to see small cities like Warsaw selected for a three-show season, while Toronto – the fourth largest city in North America – was left out.
“Given the huge population of our city and all the fans here, I’m sure Taylor would fill several stadiums,” Engelberg said.
So why is Taylor Swift fleeing Canada?
She still hasn’t told us why. No reason was given by Swift or her team, and her label did not respond to the BBC’s inquiries.
Some have speculated that this could be due to the size of the site. Canada’s largest arena, Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, seats just over 56,300 spectators. This is the equivalent of a fraction of the capacity of places like Wembley in London – 90,000 seats – or MetLife in New Jersey – 82,500 seats.
But that doesn’t mean Swift avoids all small venues. She will perform two shows at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, with a capacity of 50,000, and one night at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, which can accommodate just under 51,000 spectators.
Others wonder if it’s the weakness of the Canadian dollar relative to the US currency – the exchange rate is currently around 1.33 Canadian dollars for every US dollar.
But that hasn’t stopped other big artists, including Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran, from performing in Canada.
For now, at least, Swift’s silence keeps Canadian fans guessing.
“All I want is for Taylor to come here,” Title said. “And I would go across the country.”
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