Iconic songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in a special ceremony at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto, on April 1, 2019.

If the measure of a songwriter’s success is the accumulation of merits and awards, then Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Oscar, Golden Globe, half-dozen JUNOs, Officer of the Order of Canada, and countless other honours surely grant her a place among the elite. If success is judged by commercial hits, again, Sainte-Marie easily makes the grade, as the composer of “Until It’s Time for You to Go” and “Up Where We Belong,” along with her anti-war anthem, “Universal Soldier,” which was inducted to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.

However, Sainte-Marie and her songs have always been about so much more than global accolades and commercial success. As an advocate for societal, environmental, and Indigenous issues, she proves the power of songs such as “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone,” “Power In the Blood,” and “Generation” can raise awareness, influence attitudes, and change perceptions.

“I’m honoured to be recognized in the company of so many Canadian songwriters that have inspired me,” says Sainte-Marie. “As a songwriter, I never set out to be courageous or political, I just wanted to tell my stories as authentically as possible, and bring light to the truth.”

“Buffy Sainte-Marie brought a completely new sound to audiences with her use of electronic techniques, adapting the rhythms and melodies of her Indigenous heritage with rock,” says Vanessa Thomas, CSHF Executive Director. “She’s gifted with the ability to pen songs that pulsate with cultural resonance, and can pierce right to the heart of current issues; yet they endure, and transcend both boundaries and time. We’re thrilled to celebrate her induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.”

Below, in an interview with SOCAN from the 2016 JUNO Awards, Sainte-Marie discusses some of her approach to touring, her renewed presence on the scene, and her songwriting process.


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In interviews with SOCAN during the 2018 Indigenous Music Awards weekend in Winnipeg, music industry representatives Alan Greyeyes, ShoShona Kish, and David McLeod discuss the ongoing growth and construction of Indigenous music infrastructure in Canada; the affinity of Indigenous artists for industry partners from their own communities; and the explosive penetration of Indigenous arts and culture in film, TV, and radio.


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Canadian rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Ian Thornley from Big Wreck visited the new SOCAN Vancouver office during a promotional tour for the band’s new (as yet untitled) album.

SOCAN Vancouver staff Paul Tansey, Pat Mueller, Coralie Hummel, Racquel Villagante, and Lea Faradian all got a chance to hear the first single from the album, “Locomotive,” in the brand-new Vancouver sound lounge/writer room. The SOCAN team was impressed by the guitar skills and powerful vocals on this high-energy rock song, as well as those on another single, “One More Chance.”

The album is produced by JUNO Award-winning producer, engineer, and mixer Eric Ratz. Thornley is travelling to various radio stations across Canada this week with Watchdog Management staff to promote the new Big Wreck album.

Big Wreck’s 1997 debut album, In Loving Memory, is certified double-platinum in Canada (180,000 units sold) and featured the chart-topping singles “Blown Wide Open,” “That Song,” and “The Oaf.” In 2002, the band broke up, but reunited in 2010, and their first single after that, “Albatross,” became their first No. 1 song at rock radio in Canada. Since then, they’ve recorded three new Big Wreck albums, and later this year they release their sixth studio album, followed by an extensive cross-Canada tour.


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