As the Canadian legend sets out on a national tour, Passport 2017 unearths the places that inspired and celebrate his songs

Tom Cochrane’s Prairie Picks
Photo courtesy Coalition Music

For Canadians of a certain vintage, Tom Cochrane’s legendary hit song “Life is a Highway” is essential material for any road trip. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mad, Mad World, the album that features that iconic track, Cochrane is headed out on a Canadian tour in 2017. If you can’t make it to one of his 12 shows, here are some other places where you can enjoy his musical legacy:

Tom Cochrane’s Prairie Picks
Drumheller, Alberta’s iconic hoodoos were part of the backdrop for Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” video. Drumheller, Alberta

Drumheller, Alberta

The sand-swept, hoodoo-lined landscape of the Badlands in southeastern Alberta are a unique setting on their own. They’re also the site where the music video for “Life is a Highway” was filmed. Take a drive along Dinosaur Trail and Hoodoo Trail and take in the iconic scenery that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Canada.

Tom Cochrane’s Prairie Picks
At Calgary’s Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, Showcase: Tom Cochrane runs until April 30. Photo by Brandon Wallis Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta

Until April 30, 2017 visit the exhibition Showcase: Tom Cochrane to see some of Cochrane’s guitars, gold records (even a gold cassette!) from the EMI Music Canada archives, and video interviews with Cochrane himself. Make sure to also check out the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (a permanent exhibit in the National Music Centre) and find Tom Cochrane’s name on the wall—he was inducted in 2003. “We needed a brick and mortar hall of fame, and this is far superior to that,” Cochrane said upon opening the exhibit. “This building is a real testament to how serious Albertans take [music]. We finally have a place to celebrate [stories of Canadian music]. I hope people from around the world can come here and look at Canada and see why we’re so proud of what we have and what we’ve given to the world.”

Tom Cochrane’s Prairie Picks
A stretch of highway near Tom Cochrane’s hometown of Lynn Lake was renamed after his biggest hit, “Life Is A Highway.” Cochrane performed the song and said he was honoured by the tribute at the Manitoba legislature on October, 2016. Photo by Steve Lambert/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Lynn Lake, Manitoba

Life really is a highway in Cochrane’s home town of Lynn Lake in the province of Manitoba. Highway PR 391 between the towns of Lynn Lake and Thompson was recently renamed Tom Cochrane’s Life Is A Highway. Crank up some tunes and go for a drive on the eponymous highway to explore the beautiful landscapes of Northern Manitoba and enjoy outdoor recreation such as fishing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding.