Presented by TD Canada Trust Music, the 2006 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on February 5, 2006 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s John Bassett Theatre.
The event honoured Modern Era Inductees Leonard Cohen and Gilles Vigneault, as well as 26 timeless songs by some of Canada’s most influential songwriters and three Legacy Award recipients.
Hosted by CBC Radio’s Andrew Craig and Radio-Canada’s Sophie Durocher, the evening featured a poignant tribute made by Former Governor General, The Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, to inductee, Leonard Cohen. Visibly moved with his hand on his heart, Cohen accepted his award and noted, “If I knew where the good songs came from, I would go there more often.”
Cohen was honoured by some very special guests: living legend Willie Nelson, who sang Bird on a Wire and Rufus Wainwright who delivered a unique version of Everybody Knows. Canadian singer-songwriter k.d. lang gave a heart-wrenching performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which reduced the audience to tears.
Quebec songwriting icon Gilles Vigneault was inducted into the Hall of Fame by Pierre Curzi, star of Denys Arcand’s “Le Barbarian Invasions” and “The Decline of the American Empire.” Vigneault’s daughter Jessica, along with Martin Leon, paid tribute with the much-loved song Mon Pays. Star Académie winner Marie Mai sang Vigneault’s Pendant Que.
Jann Arden presented Anne Murray with the Legacy Award, bestowed upon those who have contributed to the Canadian songwriting industry; also awarded with Legacy Awards were legendary Quebec singer Lucille Dumont and record industry pioneer Herbert S. Berliner.
Backed by Faith Chorale, R&B singer Jully Black gave a soulful rendition of Gene MacLellan’s Put Your Hand in the Hand, while singer-songwriter Andy Kim fused his Sugar Sugar with the sounds of Bedouin Soundclash, Esthero and la Jeunesse Girls Choir. Calgary band The Stampeders along with Doc Watson entertained with the hit song Sweet City Woman.
The ceremony was aired nationwide on February 6, 2006 by broadcast partner CBC, on Radio One and Radio Two and on Radio-Canada’s Espace Musique. A one-hour special presentation of the ceremony was broadcast nationally by CBC Television on March 6, 2006, including salutes to Leonard Cohen and Anne Murray.