Photos: Tom Sandler Photography
On September 23, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) inducted four incredible Canadian songwriters Beau Dommage, Bruce Cockburn, Neil Young and Stéphane Venne at Massey Hall in Toronto. As composers, storytellers and visionaries these remarkable artists were honoured for the permanent mark they have left on music both in Canada and around the world.
The bilingual ceremony presented by Richardson GMP, featured extraordinary tributes and live performances from sought after Canadian artists and personalities including, Arkells, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Damien Robitaille, Daniel Lavoie, Don Ross, Eh440, Élage Diouf, Elisapie, France D’Amour, Florence K, Hawksley Workman, Jessica Mitchell, Julie Payette, k.d. lang, Lisa LeBlanc, Randy Bachman, Ruth B., Tom Power, William Prince, Whitehorse and Yann Perreau.
With electrifying performances and emotional tributes the evening began with Hawksley Workman‘s rendition of Bruce Cockburn‘s “Silver Wheels” and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings’ stirring performance of “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”. Following a performance of “Up Where We Belong” by eh440, Buffy-Sainte Marie inducted Bruce Cockburn with a poignant tribute. Don Ross was joined by Damien Robitaille for a performance of Beau Dommage‘s “Les blues d’la la Métropole”, before the band was inducted by Governor General-designate Julie Payette.
Florence K and France D’Amour paid tribute to Stéphane Venne with “Un jour, un jour”, while songwriter Daniel Lavoie honoured Venne with his induction. Paying tribute to Neil Young, Whitehorse hit the stage for blistering performances of “Ohio” and “Old Man”, while Ruth B. provided a stunning cover of “Heart of Gold”. k.d. lang then thrilled the crowd to a standing ovation with her powerful and emotional rendition of “Helpless”. After inducting Neil Young, Randy Bachman was joined by surprise guest Rush‘s Alex Lifeson and Arkells for “Cinnamon Girl”, followed by the show-stopping finale of “Rockin’ in the Free World” featuring all of the night’s performers.
The 2017 Induction Ceremony also marked the first year of The Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award. Sponsored by Slaight Music, the Award honours one Anglophone and one Francophone songwriter who are on an upward trajectory in their career. This year, Jessie Reyez (Anglophone) and Charlotte Cardin (Francophone) were announced at the ceremony as the winners of this year’s Awards.
The Induction Ceremony was livestreamed at CBCMusic.ca and on CBC Music’s Facebook and YouTube pages. CBC also will broadcast portions of the show on CBC Radio One, CBC Radio 2’s Canada Live and CBC Music’s FIRST PLAY LIVE on CBC TV. Highlights from this year’s Induction Ceremony will also be uploaded to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame YouTube channel.
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