60 Years of Gordon Lightfoot…But Who’s Counting?

It’s hard to believe that Gordon Lightfoot released his first album, aptly called Lightfoot!, 60 years ago. And what a tale his story could tell: five Grammy nominations, 15 JUNO Awards, a Medal of Service, induction into the JUNO Hall of Fame in 1986, Governor General’s Arts Award in 1997, a Diamond Jubilee awardee, to name only a few. (For a complete list, visit Gordon Lightfoot’s website.) He even made it on to a limited edition postage stamp in 2007.

So what does an iconic Canadian musician do in his 70s? He continues touring, of course! This month, he’s on his first UK tour in 35 years. Back in March and April he toured through the US, and once he returns at the beginning of June from his UK tour he’ll tour the US for another month. In August, it’s off to the east coast for him, and then he returns to Ontario in November. So out of 12 months this year, he’ll be touring during seven of them.

It’s like he can’t stop, which we’re sure his millions of fans don’t mind. So, this perhaps begs the question: what do his fans do to commemorate his contribution to Canadian music? His hometown of Orillia, Ontario knows the answer.
Last year, Lightfoot’s hometown unveiled a thirteen-foot high bronze sculpture, created by St. Jacobs-based sculptor Timothy Schmalz. (Schmalz sculpted the Canadian Veterans’ Memorial on Veterans’ Green in Waterloo, the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Civic Park, and the Homeless Jesus sculpture.)

gordon lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot standing beside ‘Golden Leaves – A Tribute To Gordon Lightfoot during the unveiling in Orillia, Ontario

In a CBC news article, Lightfoot said, “When I found out they were working on it, I thought, ‘Why me? What have I done that is so great that I should deserve to have a statue, a very artistic work done?'” Rogers TV has an online four-part documentary about the sculpture. You can catch Part 1 here.

It seems like Lightfoot isn’t afraid of any subject when it comes to his songs. Whether he’s singing about love or a historic shipwreck, his music has a way of touching your soul. This iconic Canadian musician will be at Centre In The Square on November 17th. With 60 years of music to draw from, you won’t want to miss this chance to see him live.