(Part 3) Glenn Gould Prize Gala Concert Celebrating Leonard Cohen, May 14/12 - My Photos and Memories

Concert Gala Host, Colm Feore

June 24, 2012

(Part 3) Speakers

The celebration concert at Massey Hall in Toronto was a mix of speakers and musical performers.  Unfortunately, the podiums for the speakers were placed at the extreme sides of the stage which made it difficult to see the speakers, including Leonard Cohen delivering his acceptance speech.

After the intermission,, Host Colm Feore apologized for the placement of the podiums and announced that a screen would be used for the speakers in the second half.  He then joked, that the first half would be repeated at midnight.  Hey, I would have gone if only to "see" Leonard Cohen deliver his acceptance speech again.

Adrienne Clarkson
When Adrienne Clarkson spoke during the first half of the concert, she was quite far away at the opposite side of the stage and we did not have the benefit of a screen. This ordinarily would have been a challenge to attempt taking some video. But as I had been cautioned earlier by an usher after capturing a video of Leonard Cohen's acceptance speech, I just snapped a quick photo and cropped it (below).

(From Adrienne Clarkson's speech)
During your last tour, I went to nine concerts in four different countries. There is another tour coming up and I'm going to top it...

I know someone recently said to you, are you going to keep doing this...the touring...the singing

And you replied, "What else am I going to do" 

In some peoples mouths that might sound like a finality
But in yours it is a fulfillment of a promise
It is what we want you to do for us

That resonated with Leonard Cohen's acceptance speech at the Special Grammys (Jan/09) reciting from his Tower Of Song, when he varied the line with 27 angels... to:

"20,000 angels from the great beyond, they tied me to this table right here in the Tower of Song".

MaryA/Mollydog pointed out at that time, there were 20,000 members of the Leonard Cohen Forum .

Alan Rickman
Listening to Alan Rickman speak was on the wish list of many members of the Leonard Cohen Forum.

I was able to capture only one short segment of his presentation, his story about attending the Book of Longing Q&A with Philip Glass & Leonard Cohen in London.  He spoke after the intermission, so I was able to point my camera at the screen. (see also my previous post about the same incident here). 

For those not able to access Vimeo, try this link

Colm Feore
As concert gala host, Colm Feore, who is an award winning stage actor, closed the evening with an adept recitation of Leonard Cohen's poem "Gift".

The video ends abruptly because we all rose to give Leonard Cohen a final standing ovation.


You tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
I brought you silence
(for I know silence)
you would say
"This is not silence
this is another poem"
and you would hand it back to me

The Right Honourable Adrienne Louise Clarkson was the 26h Governor General of Canada


  1. Thank you for including the poem. Your entire report gave the present of immediacy.

    1. Thank you Rike. I was so moved to be there in person.