January 22, 2018 – Bruce Cockburn is not in the habit of listening to his old songs. But he did find a unique way to review his canon of music a few years back.
It was when he drove his daughter to preschool in San Francisco. He became his own captive audience.
“She would always insist on hearing my stuff in the car,” said Cockburn, talking to media on Sunday evening at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. “‘Can we put on your music in the car?’ Every day this would repeat itself. ‘Do we have to? Can I not play somebody else?’ Nope. So I’d play me. It’s like looking at an album of snapshots in a way. It brings back all the feelings. Not all of the details, some of those are lost to the murk of time. But, certainly, that brings back the feelings that went into those songs.”
Cockburn was in a bit of a reflective mood Sunday evening at the National Music Centre, where he participated in the plaque ceremony held in honour of his 2017 induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. It found him placing his plaque on the wall, which already holds the names of artists such as Leonard Cohen, Hank Snow, Joni Mitchell and Wilf Carter.
Now housed at the National Music Centre alongside the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the organization is overseen by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). The honour seems long overdue. Somehow SOCAN managed to find more than 50 songsmiths to induct before honouring Cockburn — a songwriter’s songwriter who wrote If I Had a Rocket Launcher and Lovers in a Dangerous Time — this year, alongside Neil Young, Beau Dommage and Stéphane Venne.
But he was gracious and had high praise for his fellow songwriters from the Great White North.
“I think Canada punches well above its weight in terms of the quality of songwriting that comes out of this country relative to the size of the population,” said Cockburn, who will play the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Tuesday night. “When you think how much we were influenced by English pop music in the ’60s and American pop music forever, there’s a lot of American pop music that is actually Canadian. And a lot of it that is not pop but has more serious intent than what often gets called pop music comes from here and I’m proud of that.”
It’s a small battered notebook, filled with scribbled lines, multiple revisions and the frayed edge of a page that has been mysteriously ripped out.
It also represents the inner workings of one of Canada’s most beloved songwriters and the early glimmers of one of his most beloved songs. Bruce Cockburn’s handwritten lyrics for Lovers in a Dangerous Time are currently on display as part of The National Music Centre’s temporary exhibit in Studio Bell to honour Cockburn’s 2017 induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“You can see things have been scratched out and ideas are written around,” says Adam Fox, director of programs for the National Music Centre. “You can almost get a sense of their compositional method; just how they are crossing things out and putting things in different order.”
The notebook, which also includes handwritten lyrics for Cockburn’s politically charged hit If I Had a Rocket Launcher, is on display, as is his lyrics from 1988s If A Tree Falls. They are both on loan from McMaster University, where many of the songwriter’s archives have been housed since he donated them in 2013.
The temporary exhibit, which will be on display on the fifth floor of Studio Bell until the fall of 2018, celebrates a new batch of inductees to the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Both now have a physical home at the National Music Centre, as does the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
On Saturday September 23, 2017 Bruce Cockburn along with Neil Young, the group Beau Dommage, and Stéphane Venne were inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Scroll to the end for Bruce’s acceptance speech in his own hand.
14 January 2018 – This is the short film biography that was shown on the big screens during the celebration.
Published to YouTube by: Matt Zimbel – What an honour to tell this man’s story. Writer / Producer MZ, Editor Hugh John Murray, Voice Over, Olaf Gundel.
(The following is from Billboard article by Karen Bliss)
The impact of four life-changing Canadian songwriters — Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, the group Beau Dommage, and Stéphane Venne — was the common thread at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) induction ceremony over the weekend at Toronto’s Massey Hall, where professional musicians of all ages — and one former astronaut — expressed their respect and gratitude for their music.
This was the first induction ceremony in six years. The CSHF was created by music publisher Frank Davies in 1998; the inaugural gala was held in 2003 with six more to follow. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers (SOCAN) purchased it in December 2011 and has been working to update the brand and educate the public about its inductees and mandate.
The historic Massey Hall, which opened in 1894, was the perfect setting for such esteemed honorees. Both Young and Cockburn have recorded live albums there and the late Jonathan Demme’s final doc on the folk-rocker, 2011’s Neil Young Journeys, culminates in two performances at Massey. It’s a venue many Toronto artists dream of headlining — our Carnegie Hall.
The four-hour show, which ran an hour over schedule, was a bilingual affair, giving equal time to the two Quebecois legends, even if, truth be told, many of the Anglophones in the audience found their own grade-school French studies proved absolutely useless. Each artist was feted with covers of their songs and stories about their influence, plus the customary tribute video.
To view above speech in standard pdf viewer click here.
Here’s the text version:
Thank you, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Thank you SOCAN.
I spend so much time playing and singing my own songs — it’s very interesting, very moving, to hear them performed by others! And on an occasion like this — to be so honored in the company of these wonderful artists.
I’ve been at my craft for a long time — long enough that the beginning seems like yesterday.
Under the influence of those who were a bit quicker on the draw than me, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie among others, I was seduced away from the pursuit of an education in jazz composition by songs…creations that combined music with something like poetry.
Though I didn’t understand it at the time, I came to realize that art, including the art of songwriting, is about sharing the human experience. Music is a spiritual bonding agent, a means of sharing deep feelings of all times. When you add words, the sharing becomes pointed — specific. A song can offer inspiration, distraction, solace, solidarity – a sense that we are not alone in our feelings. The human ability to create songs is precious and vital. We have always done it and I think we always will — the artifice of machines (and ISIS) not withstanding.
I’m immensely grateful to have been allowed to live a life centered around songwriting. And immensely grateful for the attention my efforts have received. To be able to do this and make a living at it is truly a great gift.
Re “Making a living at it,” I want to offer a word of thanks to Bernie Finkelstein, my friend and long-time manager, from whose asute ears and talent for strategizing I have benefited greatly. So too, all the excellent producers and musicians I have worked with, some of whom are here tonight, who have helped give my raw material the power to appeal to the world at large.
In a world increasingly defined by its fakery, we’ve together pulled off the greatest trick ever — we spread truth.
Folk singer Bruce Cockburn is encouraging U.S. musicians to keep pushing for free speech under the Donald Trump administration.
While accepting an honour at the Folk Alliance International awards show in Kansas City, Mo. on Wednesday night he took a moment to address the volatile political climate.
“It seems evident that the current administration is not much interested in democracy,” he said in prepared remarks.
“They are trying to stifle opposition across the board by a range of means. Looks to me like they’re just getting started.”
The Canadian singer, who lives in San Francisco, then urged musicians to be a catalyst for dialogue and debate.
“We may get tired, but we have to keep singing,” he said.
Country singer Kris Kristofferson presented Cockburn with the People’s Voice Award in recognition of his role in social and political commentary. His 1984 track “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” is widely considered a staple of activist music.
Cockburn reflected on his experiences as a young performer during the Vietnam War, and on later years when he found his voice during the U.S. presidency of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
He then turned to the current U.S. political climate and told songwriters to consider their music as more than just words, but a “focal point for collective energy” of the community.
“Doesn’t mean we can’t sing love songs,” Cockburn reasoned.
“But if you think you can keep your head down and ignore the political side of things, it’s liable to be waiting for you with a blackjack in the alley when you come out the stage door.
Credit:MontrealGazette.com Photo: Bruce Cockburn, left, accepts his People’s Voice Award for his role in social and political commentary from country singer Kris Kristofferson at the Folk Alliance International awards show, in Kansas City, Mo., on February 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Brian Hetherman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Folk Alliance International to Launch People’s Voice and Clearwater Awards
Posted by: Jerod Rivers
11 January 2017 – As part of a permanent commitment to honoring the socially-conscious roots of folk music, Folk Alliance International (FAI) will launch two new awards during the 2016 International Folk Music Awards show.The People’s Voice Award will be presented annually to an individual who has unabashedly embraced and committed to social and political commentary in their creative work and folk music career. The Clearwater Award will be presented annually to a festival that prioritizes environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in education and sustainable event production. Additional awards include Lifetime Achievement, Spirit of Folk, and Album, Song, and Artist of the Year presented on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Folk Alliance International Awards Show
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 6 pm
Westin Crown Center Hotel, Century C Ballroom
Kansas City, Missouri USA
Open to FAI conference delegates and registered members of the press.
Bruce Cockburn to Receive People’s Voice Award
The inaugural People’s Voice award will be presented to multi-platinum recording artist Bruce Cockburn, whose 40-year career has consistently highlighted environmental, social, and indigenous issues globally.
Bruce Cockburn has been all over the world to Mozambique, Nepal, Vietnam, Baghdad, Nicaragua, and Guatemala to protest refugee camps, landmines, and Third World debt. He has been tirelessly vocal in support of native rights, the environment, the promotion of peace, and has highlighted the work of Oxfam, the UN Summit for Climate Control, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and Friends of the Earth.
His songs “Mines of Mozambique” from album The Charity of Night, “Stolen Land” (Waiting For A Miracle), and “If a Tree Falls” (Big Circumstance) have traveled the globe providing context for some of the world’s biggest issues of the day, while exhorting to all who listen for engagement with our shared humanity.
In over 300 songs on 30 albums that range from folk to jazz-influenced rock, he has sold more than seven million records worldwide and prolifically captured the story of the human experience through protest, romance, spiritual searching, and politics. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1985, after observing the horrors of refugee camps along the Guatemalan-Mexican border he shared that he went back to his hotel room, cried, and wrote in his notebook, “I understand now why people want to kill.” The experience led him to write “If I Had A Rocket Launcher” from the album Stealing Fire.
Cockburn is the recipient of 13 Juno Awards, the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, nine honorary doctorates, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Pacing the Cage, a documentary film about his life, music, and politics was released in 2013. His memoir, Rumours of Glory, was published by Harper Collins in 2014.
“We can’t settle for things as they are,” Cockburn has warned. “If you don’t tackle the problems, they’re going to get worse.”
Bruce will be doing a couple of numbers at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in Toronto on December 3. ~ Bernie Finkelstein
Oct 27, 2016 – The Canadian Folk Music Awards, now in its 12th year, are coming to Toronto, Ontario from December 2-3, 2016. The 72 talented artist nominees for the 2016 CFMA were recently announced at Toronto City Hall and hail from Canadian provinces and territories from coast-to-coast-to-coast. This year’s gala event is taking place at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St West in downtown Toronto on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
The gala is hosted, in both official languages, by award-winning musicians Jean Hewson and Benoit Bourque (La Bottine Souriante) and is open to the public. Tickets for the gala are $45 (plus a $2 processing fee) and are available here.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for the event.
The Canadian Folk Music Awards are pleased to announce the 2016 gala line-up, which includes prolific Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn. His achievements and decorations include being an Officer of the Order of Canada, an inductee of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, 13 Juno Awards, 24 Gold and Platinum records, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, numerous honorary doctorates, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Award-winning guitarist, producer and singer Colin Linden also graces the CFMA performer line-up. The founding member of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings has had an exceptional career, releasing numerous albums with the band, as well as several solo albums. He has also produced and shepherded many upcoming musical talents. Since 2012, the iconic man in the black hat has been the Music Director on the hit TV show Nashville.
Juno Award-winning trio and CCMA nominated sisters from Newfoundland, The Ennis Sisters, bring their beautiful vocal harmonies to the line-up. Past CFMA winners and 2016 nominees The Sultans of String join the gala line-up, adding a view of worldly folk; their music merges Celtic and Cuban, flamenco and Gypsy-jazz, Arabic and South Asian in one delirious musical swell. Winnipeg folk trio Red Moon Road return from a rigorous European tour to join the gala line-up, adding some forward-thinking folk live performance to the proceedings. Quebec folk multi-instrumentalist Klô Pelgag adds some quirky excitement to the gala line-up (and possibly large scale fruit costumes.)
Along with the gala awards event, the weekend features two open-to-the-public musical showcase concerts. On Friday, December 2, 2016 from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. at Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas Street West, Toronto) the evening features CFMA 2016 nominees Jocelyn Pettit, The Small Glories, Hillsburn, Beppe Gambetta & Tony McManus, Old Man Luedecke and Élage Diouf. A brunch showcase concert happens Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas Street West, Toronto) and features 2016 CFMA nominees Rosie & the Riveters, The Andrew Collins Trio, Keltie Monaghan, William Prince, Ten Strings and a Goat Skin. Both showcases at Hugh’s Room are $29 in advance via hughsroom.com and $32.50 at the door.
The CFMA will hand out twenty awards throughout the gala evening. Nominations for the CFMA were announced this September at Toronto City Hall during the second annual #NationalStrum, celebrating folk music across Canada. Born from a pool of volunteers deeply invested in the wealth and breadth of folk talent in Canada, the CFMA celebrate all genres of folk music from across Canada. Well known for having a vibrant culture of folk festivals, folk traditions and folk values, the country comes together for a weekend of celebration.
Canadian artists and groups whose albums were released in Canada between June 15, 2015 to June 14, 2016 were eligible to submit their work. The CFMA currently boast 19 categories and one special achievement award. For the category awards, five nominees are chosen for each category. A two stage jury process by 95 jurors located across Canada, representing all official provinces, territories and languages determine the official winners in each category. Complete eligibility requirements are listed here: http://folkawards.ca/eligibility/
– Born May 27, 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
– Has won 12 JUNO Awards and been nominated for 32
– Is an Officer of the Order of Canada
– Has released 33 albums across the past four decades
– Release of “Rumours Of Glory” Bruce’s autobiography
LIST OF AWARDS AND PRESENTATIONS
1971 – Going Down The Road (Soundtrack) · B.M.I. Award
1971 – Canadian Folksinger Of The Year · JUNO Award
1972 – Canadian Folksinger Of The Year · JUNO Award
1973 – Canadian Folksinger Of The Year · JUNO Award
1975 – Best Album Graphics (Night Vision) · JUNO Award
1976 – Best Album Graphics (Joy Will Find A Way) · JUNO Award
1979 – Top Single Recording Of The Year · RPM Award [Wondering Where The Lions Are]
1980 – Folk Artist Of The Year · JUNO Award
1980 – Best Male Vocalist · CFNY U-Know Award
1981 – Male Vocalist Of The Year · JUNO Award
1981 – Folk Artist Of The Year · JUNO Award
1981 – Wondering Where The Lions Are · P.R.O. Award
1981 – Wondering Where The Lions Are · B.M.I. Award
1981 – Best Album Of The Year (Inner City Front) · CFNY U-Know Award
1982 – The Coldest Night Of The Year · P.R.O. Award
1982 – Rumours Of Glory · P.R.O. Award
1982 – Inner City Front · Edison Award (Dutch)
1982 – Best Male Vocalist · JUNO Award
1982 – Best Folk Artist · JUNO Award
1985 – Top Male Vocalist · CASBY Award
1985 – “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” · P.R.O. Award
1985 – “Making Contact” · P.R.O. Award
1986 – Top Male Vocalist · CASBY Award
1986 – “Call It Democracy” Video Of The Year · CASBY Award
1986 – The William Moon Award · P.R.O. Award · 1986
1988 – Cdn. Organization of Campus Activities C.O.C.A. · Hall Of Fame Award
1988 – Berklee School of Music · Songwriter’s Award
1988 – “Wondering Where The Lions Are” · P.R.O. Crystal Award
1988 – Q-107 Toronto Music Awards · Two Awards
1988 – Waiting For A Miracle · P.R.O. Award
1989 – Q-107 Toronto Music Award · Folk Award
1990 – “If A Tree Falls” · SOCAN Award
1991 – Nothing But A Burning Light · Album Of The Year
1992 – Toronto Arts Awards · Musician’s Award
1993 – “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” · SOCAN Award
1993 – “Great Big Love” · SOCAN Award
1994 – Distinguished Alumni Award Berklee College of Music Boston
1994 – Dart To The Heart · Press & Critics Award (Germany)
1995 – Global Visions Festival · Artist Award
1995 – “Wondering Where The Lions Are” · SOCAN Classics Award
1995 – “Lovers In A Dangerous Times” · SOCAN Classics Award
1997 – Helen Verger Award · Ottawa Folk Festival
1998 – Governor General’s Performing Arts Award
1999 – TENCO Award (Italy) · Lifetime Achievement
1999 – Best Roots & Traditional Album-Solo (Breakfast) · JUNO Award
2000 – Native Heart Native American Music Awards
2000 – “The Coldest Night of the Year” · SOCAN Classics
2000 – Billboard International Achievement Award
2001 – Canadian Music Hall Of Fame Award
2002 – Inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame · JUNO Award
2005 – Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Winnipeg Folk Festival
2006 – Receives the first Humanitarian JUNO in Halifax · JUNO Award
2006 – Canadian Folk Award for Best Instrumentalist
2006 – SOCAN Award for Franklin The Turtle Theme · Int’lTelevision Series Award
2011 – SOCAN Classic Award for “Waiting For A Miracle”
2011 – Crowned Juno Awards Sustainability Ambassador, tasked with helping the Junos raise awareness about actions being taken to reduce their carbon footprint
2011 – Contemporary Singer of the Year – Small Source of Comfort · Canadian Folk Music Awards
2011 – Contemporary Album of the Year – Small Source of Comfort · Canadian Folk Music Awards
2012 – Roots & Traditional Album of the Year Solo · Small Source of Comfort · Juno Award
2012 – SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting success
2017 – Receives People’s Voice Award (inaugural) · International Folk Music Awards Show · Kansas City
2017 – Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame · September 23
2018 – Top Contemporary Folk (Roots) Album of the Year · Bone On Bone · JUNO Award
2018 – Solo Artist of the Year for Bone On Bone · Canadian Folk Music Award · December 1
1970 – Bruce Cockburn · Debut Album Released
1971 – High Winds, White Sky · Released
1972 – Sunwheel Dance · Released
1973 – Night Vision · Released
1974 – Salt, Sun and Time · Released
1975 – Joy Will Find a Way · Released
1976 – In the Falling Dark · Released
1977 – Circles in the Stream · Released
1978 – Further Adventures Of Bruce Cockburn · Released
1979 – Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws · Released
1979 – Night Vision · Certified Gold
1979 – Dancing In The Dragons Jaws · Certified Gold
1980 – Humans · Released and Certified Gold
1981 – Inner City Front · Released
1981 – Resume · US only Release
1981 – Mummy Dust · Canada only Release
1983 – Dancing In The Dragons Jaws · Certified Platinum
1983 – The Trouble with Normal · Released
1984 – Stealing Fire · Released and Certified Gold
1984 – Stealing Fire enters Billboard chart for 31 consecutive weeks
1985 – Joy Will Find A Way · Certified Gold
1985 – In The Falling Dark · Certified Gold
1985 – Rumours of Glory · Released in Germany only
1986 – Stealing Fire · Certified Platinum
1986 – World Of Wonders · Released and Certified Gold
1986 – High Winds White Sky · Certified Gold
1986 – World Of Wonders enters Top 30 in Germany
1987 – Waiting for a Miracle: (Singles 1970-1987) · Released
1988 – Waiting For A Miracle (Singles 1970 – 1987) · Certified Gold
1988 – Sunwheel Dance · Certified Gold
1989 – Big Circumstance · Released and Certified Gold
1989 – “If A Tree Falls” · Australian Top 30 Hit
1990 – Bruce Cockburn Live · Released
1990 – If a Tree Falls · Released in Australia only
1991 – Columbia releases 12 catalogue records
1991 – Nothing but a Burning Light · Released
1992 – Nothing But A Burning Light · Certified Gold
1993 – Waiting For A Miracle · Certified Platinum
1993 – Trouble With Normal · Certified Gold
1993 – Christmas · Released
1994 – Dart To The Heart released
1994 – Inner City Front · Certified Gold
1994 – “Listen For The Laugh” · NO. 1 AAA Radio U.S.A
1995 – Bruce Cockburn · Certified Gold
1997 – Christmas · Certified Gold
1997 – The Charity Of Night released
1997 – The Charity Of Night · Certified Gold
1998 – You Pay Your Money & You Take Your Chance – Live · released
1999 – Breakfast In New Orleans Dinner In Timbuktu · released
2003 – “You’ve Never Seen Everything” · released
2005 – Speechless: The Instrumental Bruce Cockburn · released
2006 – “Wondering Where the Lions Are” · recorded by Jimmy Buffett for the movie “Hoot”
2006 – Life Short Call Now · released
2009 – Release of Slice O Life (Bruce’s 30th Album and first Live Solo CD) · released
2011 – Release of 31st Album Small Source of Comfort · March 8
2013 – Donates Archives to McMaster University · Hamilton
2014 – Rumours Of Glory · a memoir published
2014 – Rumours Of Glory · 9 disc box set released · includes disc of rare tracks and live performance DVD
2015 – Christmas · certified 6x Platinum in Canada
2017 – Releases 33rd Album “Bone On Bone” · September 15
1980 – Performance on Saturday Night Live (May 10)
1983 – Tour of Central America
1983 – Tour of Australia and New Zealand
1983 – Concert performances in Santiago, Chile
1986 – European Tour
1988 – U.S. Solo Tour
1991 – Nothing But A Burning Light World Tour begins
1994 – Live performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
2009 – Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Celebration Madison Square Gardens
2010 – Luminato Festival 40th Anniversary Tribute Concert in Toronto
2016 – KALW 75th Anniversary Show San Francisco
2017 – Hosts JUNO Songwriters Circle · Ottawa
2018 – Japan Tour
1987 – Tour to Nepal for the U.S.C.
1988 – Tour of Mozambique for COCAMO
1995 – Second Tour of Mozambique for COCAMO
1995 – Cross-Canada speaking tour on Landmines
1999 – Fact-Finding trip/Cambodia & Vietnam
2004 – Fact finding trip to Baghdad
2005 – Performs at Live 8 in Barrie, Canada
2005 – Performs “If A Tree Falls” at the UN Summit for Climate Control in Montreal
2007 – Fact Finding Trip to Nepal for USC
SPECIAL FILM TELEVISION AND RADIO CREDITS—HIGHLIGHTS
1983 – Rumours Of Glory concert film released
1984 – Rumours Of Glory/Bruce Cockburn Live home video released
1991 – First annual Christmas With Cockburn · Radio Broadcast
1992 – Second annual Christmas With Cockburn · Radio Broadcast
1993 – Third annual Christmas With Cockburn · Radio Broadcast
1998 – River Of Sand Documentary (Mali West Africa)
2008 – Release of the film Return To Nepal
2012 – “Pacing The Cage” (DVD) is broadcast on Vision TV
CIVIC AWARDS AND CULTURAL HONOURS
1983 – The Order Of Canada
1989 – Honourary Doctorate/York University – Doctorate Of Letters
1993 – Performance at Presidential Inaugural Ball
1997 – Honorary Doctorate of Music Berklee College of Music Boston
1999 – Honorary Degree (Doctor Of Letters) St. Thomas University (New Brunswick)
2003 – Promotion to Officer of The Order of Canada
2007 – Honourary Doctorate Queen’s University Kingston Ontario
2007 – Honourary Doctorate Memorial University St. John’s Newfoundland
2007 – Honourary Doctorate University of Victoria, Victoria British Columbia
2009 – Honourary Doctorate McMaster University
2012 – Receives Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
2014 – Receives Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award
2014 – Honourary Doctorate of Letters · Laurentian University
2014 – Honourary Doctor of Music · Carleton University.
2015 – Receives Denise Levertov Literary Award