In this third installment of the Canadian Recording Artists stamp series, Canada Post shines the spotlight on five more outstanding Canadian singer-songwriters and performers who have won fame and accolades on Canadian and U.S. stages, and abroad.
Like the artists from previous sets in this series, each has performed to critical acclaim, making their names in their own genres as well as outstanding contributions to the Canadian music industry. The McGarrigle sisters and Bruce Cockburn have had their songs recorded by numerous other, well-established singers; Ginette Reno has been a dominating force in the Quebec music scene for several generations; and Robbie Robertson’s music and songs have been showcased in more than 40 movies and television programs over the past three decades.
Continuing the theme of the first two sets, Winnipeg designer Circle Design Inc. showcases the recording artists honoured in 2011 on CD-shaped booklets. There are four different booklets, with each cover featuring one of the stamp designs. The stamps feature monochromatic photos of each recording artist alongside their Order of Canada insignia. Fans will notice that many of their most well-known song titles appear in the background of the booklet cover of each artist.
The McGarrigle sisters
Kate and Anna McGarrigle performed as a duo from the release of their first LP in 1975 until Kate’s tragic death from a rare cancer in 2010. The sisters’ songs have found their way into the repertoires of established artists such as Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins and Nana Mouskouri, and they collaborated with the likes of The Chieftains, Joan Baez and Quebec’s legendary chansonnier Gilles Vigneault, among many others. Their version of the song, The Log Driver’s Waltz, written by the late Canadian songwriter Wade Hemsworth, grew famous as the soundtrack for the National Film Board’s classic 1979 animated Canadian film of the same name. Two-time Juno award winners in the late 1990s, the sisters were also invested with the Order of Canada in 1994. In 2006, they received a lifetime achievement award from SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.
Singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn is best-known for using his music to bring attention to important issues, such as politics, poverty and the environment, believing that songs can be a catalyst for social change. He has worked tirelessly to promote reform through his music, as evidenced in albums like Stealing Fire (1984) and World of Wonders (1986), which were released following a journey to Central America. In the 1980s, he wrote one of his most popular anthems, If I Had A Rocket Launcher, after he observed a Guatemalan military attack on a refugee camp in Mexico. Many of Bruce’s songs have been sung by well-known artists like k.d. lang, Jimmy Buffett, The Barenaked Ladies, Judy Collins, and many others. He has received 13 Juno awards and boasts numerous gold and platinum records. In recognition of his lifelong contributions to Canada music, culture and social activism, he has been awarded seven honorary doctorates, received the Order of Canada in 1983, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2002.
Songwriter, producer, singer and actor Robbie Robertson honed his sound as a young man in the early 1960s as the guitarist for Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks. In 1965, The Hawks went on to back up Bob Dylan on his groundbreaking Going Electric world tour. After the tour, The Hawks settled in Woodstock, became The Band, and released their legendary debut album Music From Big Pink. Robertson went on to pen such classics as The Weight, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Up On Cripple Creek and It Makes No Difference. In 1976, The Band played its farewell concert, The Last Waltz, filmed by Martin Scorsese, widely considered the greatest concert film ever. Robertson continued to create music for Scorsese films such as Raging Bull, The Color Of Money, Casino and Shutter Island. In 1987, he struck out as a solo artist with more classic tracks like Somewhere Down The Crazy River and Broken Arrow. He has received honorary doctorates from York and Queens Universities, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Songwriters (1997), the Native American Music Awards (1998), and the Aboriginal Achievement Awards (2003). Robertson has also won numerous Juno Awards and, as a member of The Band, was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and received The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, Robertson received The Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
Ginette Reno participated in amateur contests as a teenager, and had her first hugely popular single Non papa and J’aime Guy at the tender age of 15! Reno was also very successful in the English-speaking market—her biggest hit Beautiful Second Hand Man being recorded in 1971. Les Yeux fermés, Aimez-le si fort, La Dernière Valse, Reste auprès de moi, and Le Sable et la mer rank among her greatest hits. She also proved her creative dexterity in the Franco-Canadian film and television industries in the 1990s, with the television mini-series Million Dollar Babies (Les jumelles Dionne) and Une voix en or, and films C’t’a ton tour Laura Cadieux and Mambo Italiano. In 1982, Reno was the youngest artist to be named an Officer of the Order of Canada 1982; she was awarded a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2000, and was named a Knight of the Order of Quebec (2004). She has received 14 ADISQ (Felix) awards, three Juno awards and was nominated for the 2010 Juno Fan Choice Award.