Presented by BMO Nesbitt Burns, the 2008 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on March 1, 2008 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
The event honoured Modern Era Inductees Paul Anka and Claude Dubois, as well as 23 classic songs by some of Canada’s most influential songwriters and Legacy Award recipient Oscar Peterson. Paul Anka was inducted into the Hall of Fame by former prime minister Jean Chrétien.
The ceremony was hosted by Gregory Charles and featured incredible performances. Serena Ryder sang a lively version of It Doesn’t Matter Anymore; host Charles performed a silky rendition of Put Your Head On My Shoulder, and Anka himself sang My Way with strings and famed producer David Foster on piano. Quebec legend Claude Dubois performed his hit song Comme un million de gens.
The CSHF presented the Frank Davies Legacy Award, named after the founder of the CSHF, to jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. A musical tribute to Peterson was made by father and son musicians Ellis and Brantford Marsalis, and by Oliver Jones, Dione Taylor and the Faith Chorale’s emotional performance of Hymn to Freedom.
Inducted song Heart Like a Wheel was performed by Anna McGarrigle, her sister Kate, Anna’s daughter Lily Lanken and Kate’s children Rufus and Martha Wainwright.
Other performances included a delightful jazz version of Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Emilie-Claire Barlow (Alex Kramer), Yelo Molo performing La bittt à Tibi (Raôul Duguay) and Anik Jean’s version of Une promesse (André Lejeune).
Highlights from the ceremony were aired nationwide by broadcast partner CBC Radio Two on March 2, 2008, with a special Paul Anka interview on CBC Radio One on March 3, 2008. CBC TV aired the induction ceremony on March 3, 2008.