“The truth is without the help and encouragement of the Canada Council, I would never have written The Favourite Game or The Spice Box of Earth,” Cohen said, referencing early writing scholarships received from the council that helped him launch his career.
“I am profoundly grateful.”
The 77-year-old poet and Canadian music icon hushed the crowd of friends, family and fans offering him a standing ovation at the Massey Hall gala. He also offered a bit of reassurance to the slate of musicians — including his singer-songwriter son, Adam — set to offer musical tributes.
“I’m going to make these remarks mercifully short because I want to hear the music … if there is any anxiety about performing in front of me, please let it dissolve completely. I go into bouts of child-like ecstasy … when I hear anyone cover my songs,” he said.
Musicians who took the stage included Toronto’s Cowboy Junkies and Blue Rodeo‘s Greg Keelor, while spoken tributes came from the likes of former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, actor Alan Rickman and author Michael Ondaatje.
Strange Random Leonard Cohen Quote:
“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968
- Leonard Cohen Receives Glenn Gould Prize, Donates $50K Reward to Arts Council (spinner.com)
- Leonard Cohen accepts Glenn Gould Prize, donates $50,000 in award money (canada.com)
- Leonard Cohen wins $50K Glenn Gould Prize, then donates it, at star-filled gala (arts.nationalpost.com)
- Leonard Cohen honoured as ninth laureate of the Glenn Gould Prize (macleans.ca)
- Leonard Cohen accepts Glenn Gould Prize, gives away the $50,000 (theglobeandmail.com)
- Leonard Cohen donates Glenn Gould Prize of $50,000 to Canada Council (sacbee.com)
- Artistic community regales Cohen (lfpress.com)
- Adam Cohen honoured ‘to give proper due’ to dad Leonard (cbc.ca)