Sarah McLach­lan to be in­ducted into Cana­dian Mu­sic Hall of Fame at Junos


Sarah McLach­lan is join­ing the Cana­dian Mu­sic Hall of Fame.

The Cana­dian Acad­emy of Record­ing Arts and Sciences says the “Build­ing a Mys­tery’’ songstress will be this year’s in­ductee into the space cel­e­brat­ing some of the coun­try’s most in­flu­en­tial mu­si­cians.

She’ll also be hon­oured with a trib­ute dur­ing the Juno Awards, which take place at Ottawa’s Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre on April 2.

“It’s a won­der­ful val­i­da­tion,’’ the singer said in a phone in­ter­view.

“I’ve been work­ing al­most 30 years — which I can barely say with­out cring­ing it’s just so shock­ing — and lov­ing ev­ery minute of it.’’

McLach­lan has gath­ered nu­mer­ous ac­co­lades through­out her ca­reer, in­clud­ing 10 Juno Awards and three Gram­mys. She’s also the founder of Lilith Fair, con­sid­ered one of the most in­flu­en­tial mu­sic fes­ti­vals of the 1990s for help­ing unite fe­male artists with a unique voice.

The Cana­dian Mu­sic Hall of Fame opened its new home in the Na­tional Mu­sic Cen­tre at Cal­gary’s Stu­dio Bell last year.

Past in­ductees in­clude Bur­ton Cum­mings, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, as well as other fe­male voices of the 1990s pop scene like Ala­nis Moris­sette and Sha­nia Twain.

McLach­lan talked to The Cana­dian Press about pre­par­ing to join the Hall of Fame and whether she’s con­sid­ered writ­ing a protest song to sup­port re­cent women’s marches against U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

CP: When it comes to Cana­dian mu­sic hon­ours, the Hall of Fame is pretty much the pin­na­cle. Has it trig­gered you to re­flect on your ca­reer?

McLach­lan: I’m not par­tic­u­larly re­flec­tive. I’m al­ways look­ing for­ward ... I guess some­thing like this, sure, per­haps on the day — and in the mo­ment — I’ll be a lit­tle more re­flec­tive than I am now. I’m just too busy liv­ing.

CP: Usu­ally Hall of Fame or­ga­niz­ers col­lect a bunch of mem­o­ra­bilia from each hon­ouree and put it on dis­play at Cal­gary’s Stu­dio Bell for the year. Have you saved ma­te­rial they can use?

McLach­lan: Oh, this is a big prob­lem. I’m not nos­tal­gic in that man­ner and I don’t hold onto things. They’ve asked me to pro­vide a whole bunch of stuff. And I’m like, “I don’t keep any of that.’’ Maybe some­one does. It’s just I’m not a hoarder. I like purg­ing, cleans­ing and un­clut­ter­ing. So I’m like, “Oh, gosh, I might be able to scrounge up all my CDs?’’ I long ago gave all my gold records to (the Sarah McLach­lan School of Mu­sic), which I can of course go and col­lect those back.

CP: When I talked to Bur­ton Cum­mings last year he said he dove into some dusty boxes to pull out old pho­tos and other bits of nos­tal­gia.

McLach­lan: Old pho­tos! Who even keeps those any­more? They all live in a hard drive now. Ex­cept we — Bur­ton and I — grew up in a time where we took pho­to­graphs and had them printed and put them in frames. I have to go down into the abyss (of the base­ment) and see if I can find some stuff.

CP: Think­ing of Lilith Fair, you’ve al­ways been a sup­port­ive voice for women in mu­sic. What do you think of the thou­sands of peo­ple who gath­ered in com­mu­ni­ties around the world to show sol­i­dar­ity with the Women’s March in Wash­ing­ton?

McLach­lan: Oh, God, that was great. I’m afraid that a rev­o­lu­tion is com­ing. And I’m afraid that’s what we might need. It’s hard for me be­cause as a Cana­dian I can’t vote, I can’t have a say (in the United States). All we can do is try to cre­ate the change in our world, in our com­mu­ni­ties, that we’ve been work­ing to­wards. Make those small changes and keep pro­mot­ing love, good en­ergy and equal­ity. And keep speak­ing up and speak­ing out.

CP: Did you take part in any of the women’s marches? McLach­lan: I wasn’t even in town. I was in the mid­dle of nowhere when it hap­pened. I wanted to be a part of it, but I just couldn’t.

CP: A grow­ing num­ber of mu­si­cians have been un­leash­ing protest and ac­tivism songs over the past few weeks. Have you felt an urge to put some of your feel­ings to song?

McLach­lan: I’ve never con­sid­ered my­self a po­lit­i­cal per­son. In or­der to write about some­thing I need to feel like I know it in­side and out — which is prob­a­bly why I stick to writ­ing from an emo­tional point of view. It’s a very per­sonal thing how we choose to cre­ate change in the world. Some peo­ple are vo­cal about it; some peo­ple do it very qui­etly. I tend to do it more qui­etly. This is tak­ing up such a pow­er­ful part of our ev­ery­day life — all of us — you can’t es­cape it. So it may well come out in my songs. I don’t usu­ally say, ‘I’m go­ing to write a song about this.’ It just kind of hap­pens.


Sarah McLach­lan is shown in this un­dated handout im­age. McLach­lan is join­ing the Cana­dian Mu­sic Hall of Fame.

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