Tom Cochrane returns for two shows. (Courtesy Tom Cochrane)

Tom Cochrane returns for two shows. (Courtesy Tom Cochrane)

Life is a highway for Tom Cochrane

Musical icon comes to Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

There comes a point when talented musical artists transcend the classification of musician and entertainer and enter the company of musical icons.

Tom Cochrane is one of those people.

Still, Cochrane is philosophical about his role in the entertainment scene.

“If you can touch people and make them feel a little less alone in the world, then you’ve done your job,” Cochrane has said.

“I make a living doing what I love doing, and it’s what brings me joy.”

It’s a joy that Cochrane has shared with his fans over his 40-year career. He’s thrilled audiences both as a lead singer-songwriter for Red Rider and then as a solo act that propelled him into superstardom.

It’s a level of celebrity that Cochrane takes with a great deal of humility.

“I think if you’re a good songwriter, that’s what you are first – not a star or celebrity,” he said.

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Cochrane is best known for songs he launched at the beginning of his solo career. His release of Life is a Highway followed by the release of his Mad Mad World album propelled him to global success as it surpassed six million sales in the mid 1990’s.

He continued to thrill his followers with the release of additional albums and reunited with Red Rider in 2002 to release two additional compilation albums with the group.

During his career Cochrane has been the recipient of a host of awards and honours, including his induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Order of Canada, induction to the Canadian Walk of Fame, and more.

Of course, there are also the eight Juno awards. But who’s counting?

Perhaps even more impressive (for Cochrane, at least) are the plethora of awards that he’s received for his humanitarian work.

A trip to Africa in 1989 led Cochrane to embark on a 25-year association with World Vision. His activities have raised millions of dollars for relief for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Beyond his work with World Vision, Cochrane has lent his support to Make Poverty History, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, World Society for the Protection of Animals and others.

But music is always at the heart of who Cochrane is, and he’s taking to the road again. He’ll be appearing at the McPherson Playhouse in Victoria on Wed. Nov. 15, followed by his Songs and Stories: Tom Cochrane – The Duo concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Nov. 20.

Vancouver Island’s Ryan McMahon (co-founder of Lion, Bear, Fox) will be opening the performance for Cochrane in Duncan. McMahon has released five full-length albums of his own and has seen his music licensed nationally and abroad. More information on the upcoming Tom Cochrane concerts can be found at

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