Sarah McLachlan’s music has embedded itself in our universal language. Songs like “I Will Remember You” and “Angel,” frequently sung at graduations and funerals, are capable of striking a common chord among complete strangers, and evoking the strong emotions that link us as human beings.
McLachlan is a certified expert on the powerful properties of music. Deeply empathetic and remarkably talented, she has had nearly twenty years of experience in the Canadian music industry. At seventeen, she was the lead singer of a high school rock band. Three years later her first album, Touch, was met with commercial and critical success. Now the proud mother of one has six studio albums and eleven shiny statues to show for her musical prowess.
McLachlan’s passion for music goes hand-in-hand with her desire to better her community and the world at large. In 1997, she organized Lilith Fair, the largest all-female festival tour on record. Over three years, Lilith Fair brought two million people together across Canada and the United States to celebrate female musicians. A dollar from each ticket sale went to a local charity, and the tour raised a total of $7 million. As a direct result of Lilith Fair’s success, McLachlan was awarded the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award in 1998, and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999.
McLachlan grew up with an unwavering belief in music’s ability to brighten an individual’s perspective. “As a kid,” she says, “music saved my life.” In 2000, she established the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach Program, which offers high quality musical education to disadvantaged children in Vancouver. The program promotes music as a creative outlet and fosters a lifelong sense of empowerment through art.
The video for her single “World On Fire” is another example of using music for a higher purpose. She donated the $150,000 music video budget to various humanitarian organizations, and created the video for only $15 (the cost of a blank tape) by interspersing poignant images with statistics comparing the excesses of the entertainment industry to the poverty that plagues developing countries.
McLachlan handpicked War Child Canada as one of the recipient organizations after having narrated the award-winning 2001 documentary Musicians in the War Zone. She also participated in War Child Canada’s Peace Card campaign in support of war-affected children worldwide. Those who have listened to her intensely felt lyrics will not be surprised to learn that after eight Junos, three Grammies 22 million record sales and a Rolling Stone cover, Sarah McLachlan still wears her heart on her sleeve.
Sarah McLachlan supports get loud and War Child Canada. Other organizations and campaigns that Sarah McLachlan has been involved with include:
- She performed at the 2002 British Columbia Cancer Foundation Benefit Concert
- In January 2005 McLachlan was a headliner at Vancouver’s Tsunami Relief concert in Vancouver
- She performed at the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia in July 2005 in support of the Make Poverty History campaign
- McLachlan has been a long-time contributor to women’s shelters for abused women across Canada