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Order of Canada award
Order of Canada award

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

Bruce Cockburn - Officer in the Order of Canada - 2003
Bruce Cockburn receiving promotion to the rank of Officer in the Order of Canada from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson – 2003

Bruce Cockburn - Doctorate Queen's University - 9 May 2007
Bruce Cockburn – Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Queen’s University – 2007

2007 – Honourary Doctorate Queen’s University Kingston Ontario

“In all the time I’ve spent thinking about God in my life, I never thought I’d be recognized for it.”

Bruce Cockburn - St. John's Memorial University - 2007
Bruce Cockburn – St. John’s Memorial University – 2007

May 24, 2007 – Bruce Cockburn to Receive Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Memorial University.

Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Cockburn will be honoured for his music and his commitment to the betterment of the world with an honorary doctor of letters degree during spring convocation. [ read an interview on Gavin’s Woodpile (scroll down 1/2 page) ] [ video of convocation speech (scroll to May 2007) ]

Bruce Cockburn - U of Victoria - 6June2007 - Photo: Debra Brash
Bruce Cockburn – U of Victoria – 2007

2007 – Honourary Doctorate University of Victoria, Victoria British Columbia

June 7, 2007 – “You do what you do and you hope it affects people,” he said. “I’d be doing this even if no one was listening.” [ read an article on Gavin’s Woodpile (scroll down 1/2 page) ]


2009 June 8 – Honourary Doctorate McMaster University – Doctor of Letters

Bruce Cockburn performing at the Diamond Jubilee Gala 2013
Bruce Cockburn performing at the Diamond Jubilee Gala – 2013

2012 – Receives Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Bruce Cockburn - Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award - 2014
Bruce Cockburn – Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award – 2014

2014 – Receives Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award

2014 – Acceptance Speech Video of Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award

Bruce Cockburn - Doctor of Letters - Laurentian University - 2014
Bruce Cockburn – Doctor of Letters – Laurentian University – 2014

6 June 2014 – June 2nd, 2014 – Canada’s 27th Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean, and renowned singer-songwriter and activist Bruce Cockburn are among the recipients of Honourary Doctorates at Spring Convocation ceremonies at Laurentian University this year.

Bruce Cockburn, Doctorate of Letters: Winner of a Governor-General’s Performing Arts Award and 13 Juno Awards, Bruce Cockburn has released more than 30 albums over a career spanning four decades. Mr. Cockburn is also renowned as a humanitarian and activist. In 2002, Mr. Cockburn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame for his powerful lyrics and his immense contribution to Canadian music. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Bruce Cockburn Receives Doctor of Music  - Carleton University - 2014
Bruce Cockburn Receives Doctor of Music – Carleton University – 2014

2014 – Honourary Doctor of Music · Carleton University

Bruce Cockburn - Fremont Abbey - Denise Levertov Award - April 2015 - Photo Daniel Keebler
Bruce Cockburn – Fremont Abbey – Denise Levertov Award – 2015 – Photo Daniel Keebler

2015 – Receives Denise Levertov Literary Award
Click through to the article for video of some of the interview and several song performances.

Bruce Cockburn - Peoples Voice Award FAI - photo Lynne Margolis
Bruce Cockburn receives FAI People’s’ Voice Award – photo Lynne Margolis

2017 – Folk Alliance International People’s Voice Award
Click through for the video and transcription of Bruce’s acceptance speech.

CSHF - Bruce Cockburn- speech
Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame – Bruce Cockburn’s speech

2017 – September 23 – Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction speech and article
Click through for speech, articles and photos.

My Beat: The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn

My Beat: The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn - 2001

2001 – This one hour “rockumentary” takes us inside the life of Bruce Cockburn – the man and the musician – and includes live performances of Bruce’s hit songs: Lovers in a Dangerous Time, Wondering Where the Lions Are, If I Had a Rocket Launcher and And They Call it Democracy.

Bruce Cockburn is a rock musician, singer/songwriter, political activist and Canadian icon. From his beginnings in the late 60s with the rock group, The Children, through his solo career and musical collaborations over three decades, Bruce Cockburn has followed his own path creating music that has defied traditional labels.

His life informs his music. He has consistently expressed and maintained political views that haven’t endeared him to a mainstream audience. But his willingness to speak out on issues that many performers wont go near has earned him a strong following.

Of the all inclusive nature of his work, Bruce says “If the purpose of art is to reflect life and the human experience, that includes politics, as inevitably as it includes sex and spirituality, money and all the other things that interest people. I like to get everything in there.”

Available for purchase: Kensington Tv

[direct link]

Other Packaging:
My Beat:The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn - 2001

Bruce Cockburn - River Of Sand - 1999

River Of Sand

Bruce Cockburn - River Of Sand - 1998

In 1998, acclaimed singer/songwriter and activist Bruce Cockburn travelled to Mali, West Africa with a documentary film crew, led by producer/director Robert Lang.

Over the course of several weeks, Bruce traversed this country, over half of it hugging the Sahara Desert, exploring its roots, people, ancient cultures, musical traditions and the ongoing struggle against drought and desertification.

Along the way, Bruce jammed with musicians like legendary bluesman Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, master of the traditional 21 stringed instrument, the Kora. In the ancient city of Timbuktu, the film team visited prehistoric cliff dwellings in Sanga and met face to face with people working for a brighter future by changing the face of the desert.

River of Sand, which premiered on Vision TV in October 1998, is a travelogue of a different sort – one that touches upon the cultural, musical, and environmental roots of Mali.


Bruce Cockburn jams with Ali Farka Toure

[direct link]


Bruce Cockburn in Mali, performing “World of Wonders” with Toumani Diabate

[direct link]

River Of Sand filming

River Of Sand is available for Purchase from Kensington TV.

WHYY Video – Performance and Interview

In early 2015 Bruce sat down with WHYY, here is the video that came from that meeting.

WHYY Video Interview / show from early 2015

(video will open in a new window) ( )

Aired: 10/09/2015
Runs: 28:46

Bruce Cockburn, legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, has traveled to the corners of the earth out of humanitarian concerns, often leading to some of his most memorable songs for four decades. In this episode, we will explore what’s behind his passion for human rights, politics and spirituality and how he expresses this drive by creating a unique variety of folk and jazz-influenced rock songs.

Bruce Cockburn - USC Celebrate Seeds

USC – Celebrate Seeds

Hi, As many of you know Bruce has been a supporter of the USC for many many years now. The USC has come up with a great program Celebrate Seeds. Here’s what the USC has to say about it. ~ Bernie Finkelstein

Feb 12, 2015 – It’s time to celebrate seeds! A medley of Canadian musicians and USC Canada are celebrating good seeds and everything they mean for human health, environmental protection and food security.

“Join the celebration! Watch this video to find out why I’m (we’re) celebrating seeds and farmers who save them. Let’s get the conversation rolling about this important food issue:

Seeds are important to me (us) because they are at the base of all of our food. Growing good food from good seeds helps to ensure that not only will crops to adapt and grow resiliencies, but they’ll also maintain biodiversity, flavour, abundance and choice. Learn more @USC Canada – Seeds of Survival and all the great benefits of good seeds.

USC Celebrate Seeds

Have you ever thought about where your food is coming from, not where you bought it or where it was physically grown, but where it REALLY comes from? Maybe it’s time that we all looked a little closer at where everything began. Human beings once used more than 7,000 different plant species to feed us. Today we rely on only 12 of them. Learn more about how to make a difference and join the celebration.

We’re celebrating seeds because of the power of their enormous diversity that is key to withstanding all kinds of shocks and changing conditions. We’re losing this diversity to uniformity. 75% of the global seed supply is controlled by only 10 companies. There are hundreds of rice varieties in the world but 65% of the rice we eat comes from only 4 varieties; 75% of the potatoes we eat come from just 4 varieties.

Find out more at

Acoustic Guitar Sessions Presents Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Cockburn - Acoustic Guitar Sessions - 2014

Jan 28, 2015 – The March 2015 issue of Acoustic Guitar will feature an excerpt from Bruce Cockburn’s new memoir, Rumours of Glory, in which the Canadian singer, songwriter, and guitarist talks about why, at 23, he left ’60s-era folk-rock to focus on solo acoustic music. He’d met fingerstyle guitarist Fox Watson, who taught Cockburn how to play in alternate tunings.

“I was sort of disdainful of open tunings back then because I didn’t like most of what people did with them—playing the same four chord formations in different tunings, trying for a specious variety in their sound without going to the trouble of actually learning their instrument,” Cockburn writes. “But when Fox played in any of several tunings he used, what came out was fluid as a mountain creek and agile as a gull.”

That was more than four decades ago. Since then, Cockburn has returned to playing electric guitar in rock bands, but he never left an acoustic guitar far behind, and he’s developed a style that is unmistakably his. In this special half-hour edition of Acoustic Guitar Sessions, senior editor Marc Greilsamer talks at length with Cockburn about his love of acoustic guitars and the singer-songwriter performs three tunes: the instrumental “Bohemian 3-Step,” “Waiting for a Miracle” and his most famous song, the politically fierce “If I Had a Rocket Launcher.”

[ direct link ]

Bruce Cockburn Receives Honorary Degree from Carleton University

12 June 2014 – Carleton University today conferred a Doctor of Music, honoris causa, on Bruce Cockburn in recognition of an outstanding career in music, along with a commitment to voicing environmental, First Nations and social causes.

Bruce Cockburn - Carleton University - Honorary  Doctor of Music - 14 June 2014
Bruce Cockburn – Carleton University – Honorary Doctor of Music – 14 June 2014

“Communication must become everybody’s thing,” said Cockburn. “It doesn’t matter whether you are a scientist, a journalist, a painter, a nurse, a cop or an accordion player–we have to be able to hear and see each other’s reality.”

Cockburn was honoured during Convocation for the Faculty of Engineering and Design, some of the 3,359 undergraduates and 782 graduate students receiving their degrees over four days of ceremonies.

“Being prepared has to include the notion of teamwork, of community and of mutual support,” said Cockburn. “And as valuable as this support may be in the event of a disaster, it is also vital in the day-to-day we currently move through.”

BRUCE COCKBURN RECEIVES Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award – video

29 May 2014 – Bruce Cockburn has been honoured with the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award on May 7, 2014, at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards gala in Toronto, during Canadian Music Week. Throughout his forty year-plus career, Bruce has expressed his core beliefs through his songs, philanthropy, social activism and support for humanitarian causes. This is evident in songs like “If I Had A Rocket Launcher“, “Call It Democracy” and “Lovers In A Dangerous Time“, his activism alongside The David Suzuki Foundation, Amnesty International, OXFAM, Friends of the Earth and others, along with his performances in aid of such groups as UNICEF, Bring Leonard Peltier Home, and Music Without Borders.

This honour, following a Canadian Music Hall of Fame induction, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, an Order of Canada induction and 13 Juno Awards, including being named the Sustainability Ambassador for the 2013 JUNO Awards, Is an expression of the respect that Bruce has earned both nationally and internationally, as he continues to “kick at the darkness, till it bleeds daylight.”

Here is the video of Bruce receiving this award and his speech .. do give it a listen.
“There’s only one boat and we’re all in it together.”

[ direct link ]

Related Links:

Bruce Cockburn | Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award

Canadian Music Week

May 2014 – Canadian Music Week is pleased to announce acclaimed Canadian music icon Bruce Cockburn as the 2014 recipient of the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award. The award – bestowed to the singer/songwriter in recognition of his social activism and benevolent support of humanitarian interests and causes – will be presented in Toronto on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards gala held during Canadian Music Week 2014.

“My Father Allan and I have both respected Bruce Cockburn as an artist and humanist since his early coffeehouse days,” said Gary Slaight. ”His philanthropy and compassion for charitable issues is commendable and something all of us should strive to emulate – even if on a personal level. Bruce has long been deserving of such an award and recognition, and we are thrilled to see his efforts honoured this the recipient of the Allan Slaight humanitarian award.”

“It seems to me that if we accept that it’s appropriate to love our neighbour, whether as people of faith or as people just trying to live well, then we all need to do whatever we can to look out for that neighbour’s welfare,” said Bruce Cockburn. ”I’m very honoured to be chosen as the recipient of the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award. I hope the existence of the award will help to inspire ever greater numbers of people in the music community to throw their support behind the many ongoing efforts to make this world better.”

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