Buffy Sainte-Marie is coming back to Victoria for two shows at the Mary Winspear Centre, and this time she’s celebrating.
Last year, the acclaimed Cree singer-songwriter and social activist received the prestigious Polaris Music Prize for best Canadian album of the year, a contest that saw her pitted against such notables as Drake, Alvvays and The New Pornographers.
Those youngsters were told to “keep paying their dues,” however, as the 75-year-old Sainte-Marie claimed her rightful place as Canadian music royalty after a career now spanning five decades.
The album, Power in the Blood, which also won two Junos, is a follow‐up to 2008’s acclaimed Running for the Drum and only her fourth studio release in more than 20 years.
It begins where it all started more than 50 years ago, with a contemporary version of “It’s My Way,” the title track of her 1964 debut. Even with an eye to the past, the album is a contemporary one, featuring the eclecticism and compassion Sainte-Marie brings to each album, oblivious to genre boundaries and production trends.
With 17 albums under her belt, and a notable presence as an activist for First Nations rights, it’s still the love of music that keeps Sainte-Marie going.
“I love words, I love thinking, and I recognize and value the core of a universal idea simplified into a three‐minute song,” Sainte-Marie said.
Sainte‐Marie’s creativity is always in motion, and her passport is always in hand, as she globetrots for lectures and performances both solo and with her high-octane band. She records only when she feels like touring, and is currently crossing Canada, playing solo shows to adoring fans young and old.
Sainte-Marie played at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney on Sunday, August 7 and Monday, August 8.