Burton Cummings Honoured At National Music Centre

As one Canadian music legend was honoured, others applauded by his side.

Burton Cummings placed his plaque at the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in the National Music Centre Friday night for the Junos Welcome Reception.

He is the first inductee of the brand new facility, set to officially open later this year.

Cummings’ official induction happens later this weekend, but at Friday’s symbolic ceremony, he was joined by fellow members Tom Cochrane, Buffy Sainte-Marie and producer Bob Ezrin.

The plaque was for Cummings’ original work, aside from his music as frontman of the Guess Who.

“I’m the first guy in this beautiful new complex to go into the Hall of Fame so it’s very special,” he said. “I’m proud to have been around for so long to see it all happen.”

“Just to be considered in the same breath as all these people is very flattering to me, I don’t think about the awards much, I’m just a guy that makes records and writes songs and performs.”

The reception included nominees, honorees, politicians, celebrities and others and spanned multiple floors of the centre.

Cochrane said he was proud to be there for his friend.

“I admire him fiercely, he’s an incredible talent and such an important part of our history,” he said, adding the facility itself is important to see. “Kudos to Calgary.”

“In ’80, ’81, ’82, if it wasn’t for Calgary and Alberta, they helped keep Red Rider alive, it seemed like we were here once a month, it’s just an incredible music city and a music province.”

Ezrin echoed his peers’ sentiment.

“It’s a testament to the Canadian music industry, that it’s produced so many globally important artists,” he said. “My first job was working for his (Cummings) producer, Jack Richardson, who was my mentor and teacher, so this is like coming home in many ways.”

Ezrin also applauded the development of the centre.

“It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “I didn’t really believe they were going to be able to do it and I’m just thrilled to see they have and I can’t wait to see what else they do with it, this is just the beginning.”

The Junos take place Sunday night at the Saddledome, the first time in Calgary since 2008.