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The Globe and Mail

Canadians are known for clinging, if a little too tightly, to our national heroes. But if we gotta, who better to do so than with Jann Arden, the multi-hyphenate star whose popular nineties ballads represent just the tip of her abilities.

“I really love the arts, but it’s all subjective,” she says of her wide-ranging career. “If you think I’m funny, then I’m funny. If you think I’m a good singer, I’m a good singer. A lot of people hate what I do. But I enjoy it.”

Most recently, Arden added the title of sitcom star to her résumé, helming the self-titled Jann, a comedy on CTV. The show, a fictionalized version of her own life, centres around a singer struggling with career reinvention, a breakup and her mother’s health issues.

“I got really lucky to work with people that let me tell the story that I wanted to tell, and just let me be myself,” she says of the series.

In her rare moments of downtime, Arden loves spending time with her friends, her dogs and dreaming up vegan recipes.

“I can’t imagine anything better than just sitting on grass and watching music. If I can be doing that, I am a very happy person,” she says.

On Canada Day, the routine will be very much the same. “It’s just about celebrating being the damn greatest country on the planet. And, I’m so grateful. My prized possession is my Canadian passport.”

Here, she shares a few of her favourite Canada Day essentials.

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Jann Arden CuratedJoseph Saraceno/The Globe and Mail

Soy candle

“Don’t save your damn candles, burn them! You’re gonna drop dead at some point so start using your ‘good’ candles and your bloody ‘good china.’ Any of the Skore Canadian soy candles are lovely. Not too perfumey and they last a good 40 hours.”

Skore soy candle in vanilla cream, $27 at

Timothy Wilson Hoey paintings

“This man is brilliant in every way. He paints portraits of Canadians and Canada like nobody else on the planet. He lives on Vancouver Island and is the kindest, dearest, most generous man I’ve ever met."

Smells Something Good painting in hockey stick frame by Timothy Wilson Hoey, $350 at Jack & Cyan.


“I love Second Cup coffee because it’s Canadian made and Canadian proud. I get decaf, can’t you tell? Always decaf or I’d be wired.”

Kikkerland Niagara Falls souvenir mug, $12.50 at Drake General Store.

Mourning Has Broken

“Erin Davis’s brilliant book, Mourning Has Broken, is about dealing with the loss of a child and will lift you up.”

Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy, $29.99 at Indigo .

Adidas Gazelle sneakers

“Red ones. Why? Because Farrah Fawcett had them in Charlie’s Angels.”

Adidas Gazelle sneakers, $120 at Browns.

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