(Image by: Getty Images)

Much to the frustration of the Pan Am Games organizers, corporate sponsors, and the city’s mayor, Torontonians don’t seem super interested in the fact that they are hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games. Exactly one year after the media began asking “Where’s the buzz?” about the games, Torontonians were still tweeting things like:

I live in Toronto and I can confirm that 99% of people don’t care about the stupid pan am games

— Sally (@Hi_itsSally) July 11, 2015

And it’s not as if Torontonians are unable to rally behind a shared emotional experience. The day before the Pan Am 2015 Opening Ceremonies, the city was collectively mourning a random raccoon:


But all games-related apathy disintegrated when it was announced that Kanye West would be performing at the Closing Ceremonies. Suddenly, a lot of people became very invested in these games. Most of the city was thrilled:

My brother is performing in the Pan am closing ceremonies, but I’m more excited to see Kanye truth be told

— Carine Diverlus (@carinediverlus) July 15, 2015

But not everyone shared this enthusiasm (and disregard for siblings). The Deputy Leader of the Ontario Green Party, for example, was super upset:


Five petitions immediately sprung up demanding West be removed from the bill, the most popular of which has more than 20,000 signatures. The petition, predictably, was also divisive:

Lots of folks on twitter insisted that, as a Canadian, Drake would have been the obvious choice, even though he already played the Closing Ceremonies of the 2011 games in Mexico:


The “What about Drake?” situation wasn’t helped when Toronto Mayor John Tory referred to West as “a proud product of our music industry here”, leaving many to wonder if the mayor had actually confused Kanye with Drake. The day after the mixup, Tory’s office released a video of the penitent mayor getting on the subway wearing a baseball cap, shades, and earbuds blaring West’s hit Stronger:


Organizers of the games say that Kanye will be playing, petitions be damned. And some politicians, like Ward 40 Councillor Norm Kelly, think maybe that ire could be better placed.