The Power of Success

What is the correct measure of success? Read about my online encounter with someone who is using their fame to help others.

I had an unexpectedly interesting day while using social media today. I am not usually someone who fawns over celebrities when it comes to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram but, every now and again, because of technology, a connection is made with someone that people would consider to be “famous”. In my case, while on Twitter this morning, I found myself chatting, via tweets, with Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk.

Chantal Kreviazuk has been a star in the Canadian music scene for a couple of decades now and has several number one hits. For over twenty years, she has been married to another Canadian music star, Raine Maida, lead singer of rock group, Our Lady Peace. I have long been a fan of both performers because they have always been about way more than just their music and record sales. In fact, a few years ago, I wrote a post about them. I will insert that post in now and, after it is done, I will tell you what it was that caught my attention this morning and helped reaffirm the strong level of respect I hold for both performers. Here we go……

     Success means different things to different people.  To many of us, the measure of success is purely quantitative; those who have the most are the most successful because, well, they have the most.  The Education System is groaning under the weight of using standardized testing to measure success. In Music, record sales and concert ticket sales are often the standard by which the success of a singer or band is measured.  But, is this fair? 

     In order for data-driven criteria to be the most valid indicator of success in Music, an artist or band has to play that game as well.  While record sales are always important, in so much as they generate income and help pay the bills that allow artists to produce albums and to hold concerts, for some artists, record sales are just a means to an end and are not the single most important measure of success for them.  Sometimes, an artist is in it for something grander. Sometimes, an artist aspires to use their fame and notoriety to promote a cause that they champion that, is important to them and that, in their eyes, is more more than ticket sales and album units moved.  Such a band was Our Lady Peace.

     Our Lady Peace is a fairly successful Canadian pop-rock band. Over the course of their career, they have been awarded four Juno Awards and nine Much Music Video awards (the most ever by a single band.) They’ve had numerous Top Ten radio hits such as, Is Anybody HomeStarseed, LifeInnocentSuperman’s DeadSomewhere Out There and Clumsy.   While never quite ascending to the lofty heights of stadium rock maintained by bands such as Rush or Bryan Adams in his day, Our Lady Peace still managed to be that band that would come to your hometown and sell out the local theatre or hockey rink.  They were a made-in-Canada and maintained-in-Canada success story, as far as record sales are concerned.  But, record sales do not tell the whole story.

    Lead singer, Raine Maida, has always been noted for having one of the most powerful and unique voices in Canadian rock.  He is handsome and personable, too.  In the early days of Our Lady Peace, Maida was certainly being groomed to be a “rock star”, in the mode of a Corey Hart, perhaps.  But Maida, to his credit, had a higher purpose to his life and refused to be lured into the false trappings of stardom.  Raine Maida is married to fellow singer Chantal Kreviazuk.  Lovely and talented as they both are, the potential to be a musical “power couple” was certainly there. However, both performers are Christians.  Because of their personal beliefs, both singers have dedicated much of their adult lives to helping others in need.  They perform at benefit concerts, they do mission work in third world countries and, at home, they have both dedicated sales of their hit songs to charity.  In the case of Our Lady Peace, sales of one of their biggest hits, Clumsy, have all been directed to helping support an anti-bullying venture in Canada known as Kids Help Phone, where children who feel lost or scared and alone can call and talk to a supportive adult.

     In my eyes, Our Lady Peace has to be considered a great Canadian success story. They have used their music to make a positive difference in the lives of others. At the end of the day, knowing that what you did mattered is among the most important measures of success there is.  Ask any kid who was contemplating suicide but didn’t follow through because of that voice on the phone. Ask any refugee who was given shelter and a warm meal. Ask any church whose coffers were bolstered because Our Lady Peace and Chantal Krevizuk appeared, without fanfare, at their church hall for a benefit concert…..ask any of them and they will tell you that fame, itself, is not the measure of success but, instead, it is using fame as a tool to make a difference that can make one a success.  Our Lady Peace and Chantal Kreviazuk had that figured out all along and, as a result, have enjoyed a most successful career as there has been.

I wrote that three years ago. This morning, I discovered that Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida are still using their fame, their platform, to help others. They have completed a documentary about the struggles and heartbreaks and love and successes they have encountered as a married couple. The documentary is set to air at the end of January and is called I’m Going To Break Your Heart. The link to the trailer is here. It can’t be easy to lay your soul bare for all to see but, that’s what Chantal and Raine have done. In the information I read about this documentary, they said that they have often been asked how their marriage has survived so long in the spotlight, as it were. They replied that no marriage is perfect and every relationship has its ups and downs and that it was important for people to see the human side to their world. They ended by saying that they believed love is worth believing in and fighting for. Their hope was that this documentary would inspire couples who were, perhaps, questioning the strength of their commitment, to, in fact, renew their will to fight for their own relationship instead of giving up.

So, I spent a few minutes this morning tweeting back and forth with Chantal Kreviazuk about Love, marriage and the power of success to help make a positive difference in the lives of others. Like I said off of the top, I don’t normally go on about celebrity encounters but, in this case, I am willing to make an exception. Do you have any advice for how to maintain a good marriage? Have you had any interesting celebrity encounters? If so, feel free to add your thoughts in the comment box below. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read my words.

Author: Tom MacInnes

Among the many characters I play: husband, father, son, retired elementary school teacher, writer, Cape Bretoner, lover of hot tea and, above all else, a gentleman. I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. In Life, I have chosen to be kind.

12 thoughts on “The Power of Success”

    1. That they use their talent as a means to help others is what really attracts them to me. I first heard of Chantel Kreviazuk when her very first hit, “Wayne” was coming out. I remember she was touring church halls and helping raise money for mission work that the churches were doing. At the time, she was being portrayed as a sexy babe pop star in the media but, in reality, she was never that at all and always so much more. Glad you liked the post and that the links all worked.

  1. For all its trappings, fame is temporary but what matters is bring a balance in relationships and contributing to success beyond numbers in empowering society. The couple seems to be one of its kind for their belief in humanity and contributing selflessly towards making the world a better place to live.

    1. Absolutely correct. What a good comment. Not all Canadian singers are like these two……Justin Bieber is a good example of the opposite…….but, many Canadian performers live up to the stereotype of being nice and generous folks. Thanks or your continued support. I appreciate it.

  2. We’ve been together for 45 years. This coming year we will celebrate 40 years of marriage. We’ve been through some dark times and through some amazingly happy times but always we have been together. If I were to give advice on a long and happy marriage I would say the most important element is kindness. From kindness comes respect, empathy, gentleness in words and actions and love. The most important though is kindness. It’s worked for us lo these many years. When you are kind to each other, it just spreads out to the people in the world around you but it also makes your home a refuge where you know you are safe. When you know you have somewhere safe to go at the end of the day; everything else becomes possible. Lovely story by the way. I really enjoyed reading it.

  3. I look forward to watching their documentary. I really didn’t know anything about them as a couple. It’s great that they are lending their voices to help others! So inspiring!

    1. They are, indeed, inspirational. I am not star struck by them but, I do respect how they have chosen to conduct themselves; especially since they co-exist in the spotlight, where it is so easy to be tempted by people or things that are, ultimately, unimportant. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate hearing from you.

  4. I’ve never been married and never had such love in my life. Funny, I’ve never written that “out loud” before.

    Anyway, it doesn’t surprise me that Chantal could recognize in you a similar spirit and kind soul searching. Thank you for highlighting the documentary and for also highlighting your wonderful writing on your blog.

    1. Oh my! Thanks for being so candid. Your thoughts and feelings are safe with me. As for Chantal, we are not bffs or anything but, I suppose that you are correct when you call us “similar spirits” because I was attracted to her initial tweet because I respect who she is and, because of that, I was willing to reach out in reply. Normally “celebrities” don’t reply to ordinary folk like me but, on that day, she did and away we went on a little back and forth dialogue. ❤️

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