Music As Diplomacy

Relations between Canada and the U.S. have been a bit frosty ever since the American invasion of Iraq last spring, and the usual diplomatic channels don’t seem to be having much of an effect on an increasing divide between the two populaces. So the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs is writing a $250,000 check to underwrite a two-week U.S. tour of the Ottawa-based National Arts Center Orchestra. “It might not repair the relationship between George W. Bush and Jean Chrétien, who are as chummy as two scorpions can be. But it will put Canada in the newspapers for a couple of weeks in a way the politicians can’t. If it’s an attempt to buy some good will, so be it.”