Bruce Receives Earth Day Canada's
Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award

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22 February 2010 - Earth Day Canada is pleased to honour Bruce Cockburn with this year's Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award. For three decades, Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn has been an outspoken voice on issues relating to the environment. He has performed benefit concerts in support of the Haida Nation and the Stein River Valley and their fights against logging; spoke out against the destruction of tropical rain forests and the Exxon oil spill off the Alaskan coast; narrated a television documentary on the Mali desert; acted as honorary chairperson of Friends of the Earth; and of course wrote the anthemic "If A Tree Falls".

"The whole point of writing songs is to share experiences with people", says Bruce, looking back on a career that includes 26 albums, numerous international awards, including the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Tenco Award for Lifetime Achievement in Italy, 20 gold and platinum records in Canada, and countless concert performances since he released his first solo work in 1970.

Born in Ottawa in 1945, Bruce set his sights on a career in music after growing up listening to Elvis records. He landed at Berklee College of Music in Boston in the early '60s before moving back to Ottawa in 1965 to play in a series of rock bands. He eventually found his voice as a songwriter and developed a highly personal finger-picking guitar style that merged Mississippi John Hurt blues with modal jazz harmony, melodic lyricism and cycling rhythms.

Bruce was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1982 and was promoted to Officer in 2002. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) inducted him into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. He has also received numerous honorary doctorates for his contributions to music, culture and social activism.

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Video from the Gala

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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.