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.
— This interview has been condensed and edited.
BY DAVID FRIEND