Toronto, ON (May 2, 2012) – The Glenn Gould Foundation has programmed a series of free events starting Monday, May 7, 2012 in celebration of iconic singer, songwriter, poet, artist and novelist Leonard Cohen, the Ninth Laureate of The Glenn Gould Prize.  

“Artworks” - Leonard Cohen Visual Art Exhibition
Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place (181 Bay Street)
Monday, May 7 to Saturday, May 19

Leonard Cohen has maintained a visual art practice since his early days in Montreal and Hydra. “Artworks” is a rare exhibition of 40 uniquely expressive lithographs revealing yet another creative manifestation of Leonard Cohen’s poetic vision.  

“Make This Waltz” – Private Youth Workshop and Concert
Friday, May 11

Sixteen aspiring young songwriters from music programs at Dixon Hall and SKETCH will participate in a special collaborative songwriting workshop with professional mentors Carole Pope, Ayah, Deborah Alexander and Blair Packham from the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.).  Following the workshop, participants and friends of Dixon Hall and SKETCH will attend one of the S.A.C.’s trademark showcase concerts, Bluebird North, featuring 3 accomplished performers including Julie Crochetière, Lauren Campbell and Theo Tams (Canadian Idol).  

“Street Tribute! The Glenn Gould Prize Salutes Leonard Cohen”

Various locations throughout Toronto’s downtown core
Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Leonard Cohen’s haunting melodies and words will permeate the streets of Toronto as solo artists and small musical ensembles occupy public spaces to enchant the public with Cohen’s spellbinding songs and poetry.  More than 25 artists will perform in locations including the business district, key arts and entertainment sites and popular shopping thoroughfares.  

“The Three Lennys” Screening at Toronto Jewish Film Festival
The Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)
Saturday, May 12 at 2:30 p.m.

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents a ticketed free screening of three films in celebration of Leonard Cohen:  I’m Your Man (2005) directed by Lian Lunsom, I Am A Hotel (1983) a short musical film written by Leonard Cohen and Mark Shekter, directed by Allan F. Nicholls, and the 1965 National Film Board documentary Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr. Leonard Cohen.  For more information call 416-637-3123.

These celebrations culminate with The Glenn Gould Prize Gala Concert in Honour of Leonard Cohen at Massey Hall on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.  This star-studded evening hosted by Colm Feore includes musical performances by Cowboy Junkies, Adam Cohen, Serena Ryder, Anjani Thomas, folk singer Basia Bulat, award-winning country singer/songwriters John Prine, James McMurtry, Jimmie Dale Gilmore; and poetry readings by Alan Rickman, Michael Ondaatje, and Gordon Pinsent with Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor and Travis Good.  Former Governor General and long-time friend, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson will also deliver a spoken tribute.  Mr. Cohen will be present to receive his award at this ceremony.

About Leonard Cohen
A master songwriter, musician, poet, novelist and visual artist, Leonard Cohen’s stunning body of original work has touched the lives of millions with a career spanning six decades.  His dual careers in music and literature have continued fueling each other over the decades – his songs revealing a literary richness rare in the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by an intense musicality.  Cohen’s Book of Longing (2006), a collection of prose, poetry and drawings, was the first book of poetry to reach the top of Canada’s bestsellers’ lists, and formed the basis of a memorable musical and theatre collaboration with composer Philip Glass.

Leonard Cohen is one of the most covered artists alive today, influencing generations of songwriters, and his music has earned the accolades of other artists in tribute albums in France, Norway, Canada, Spain, the Czech Republic, South Africa, and the United States. “Hallelujah”, one of Cohen’s best-known and best-loved songs has been covered by over 150 artists including Willie Nelson and Bono.  His music has been extensively featured in films and on television.  Numerous documentaries, awards, and tribute albums acknowledge the far-reaching contribution Cohen has made to music.  He continues to refine and deepen his art, and as a musician he is constantly exploring new territory.

The Glenn Gould Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors for making these events possible:
Power Corporation of Canada in association with Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life, Investors Group and Mackenzie Investments 
Government of Ontario
The Bay
Sony Music Canada
Aeroplan Beyond Miles
The City of Toronto
SOCAN Foundation
The Fairmont Royal York Hotel Toronto

About the Glenn Gould Foundation
The Glenn Gould Foundation honours Glenn Gould’s spirit and legacy by celebrating brilliance, promoting creativity and transforming lives through the power of music and the arts with the Foundation’s signature activities, including The Glenn Gould Prize. The international award is presented biennially to a living luminary who has made a unique lifetime contribution through the arts.  The Foundation seeks to use the prize to stimulate projects of social impact and significance, as is reflected in its motto: From Celebration to Inspiration to Transformation.  Nominations for the prize are made by the general public and a laureate is subsequently chosen by an international panel of judges who convene in Toronto for deliberations.  A tribute to Glenn Gould’s artistry and his multifaceted contributions to culture, the prize promotes the vital connection between artistic excellence and the transformation of lives.  Past laureates include Dr. José Antonio Abreu (2008), founder of El Sistema, Venezuela’s free music education program for children and youth, Pierre Boulez (2002), Oscar Peterson (1993) and Yo-Yo Ma (1999).  For more information on the foundation, prize and laureates visit www.glenngould.ca .

The Glenn Gould Prize Gala Concert and Dinner preface the 80th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birth on September 25, 2012, which will be marked by major commemorative events across Canada and around the world honouring this Canadian icon’s enduring contribution to music and global culture.

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Media Contact:
Karen Lorenowicz, KL Strategic Communications, 416-347-9661, karen.l@sympatico.ca