Celebrating Leonard Cohen: Concert Ticket Giveaway


After gazing at the photographs and artifacts that filled the white walls of “godmother of punk” Patti Smith’s Camera Solo exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, I couldn’t help but ponder all of the artists who have made profound contributions to both music and other corners of the art sphere. Artists whose creative musings, at one point or another, had to spill outside the chords of a song, because even a song wasn’t always enough to express their innate ingenuity.

As Canadians, we can speak to a number of those native legends. And one of the most enduring, celebrated and diverse embodiments of all kinds of art is none other than Leonard Cohen.

Whether as a visual artist, screenwriter, poet (the pages of my Book of Longing copy are frayed), companion of the Order of Canada or, most notably, the American and Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted musician behind twelve timeless albums – Cohen is iconic.

Born in Montreal in 1934, Leonard Cohen’s literary brilliance became obvious at a young age and blossomed during his studies at McGill University. Cohen traveled and practiced his pen following school, eventually becoming a fixture in Andy Warhol’s New York City “factory” crowd and dabbling in performances throughout the ‘60s; a new lyrical venture that led to his releasing Songs of Leonard Cohen under Columbia Records in 1967. From that album, the single “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” remains easily one of the most beautiful songs ever written or sang; it was quickly realized as the quintessence of poetry put to music.

Songs of Leonard would go on to become a cult classic and favourite of notable musicians like Lou Reed and James Taylor, and pave the road for subsequent acclaimed albums that included praised folk hits of the following eras, including “Bird on A Wire,” “Suzanne” and “Dance Me To the End of Love.” In 1984, Cohen wrote and released the haunting and eternally influential hymn “Hallelujah”. “What is this? This isn’t pop music . . . this is a disaster,” is what author Alan Light (and former Editor of Spin magazine) recounts as the CBS President’s initial reaction to hearing “Hallelujah.” Despite that early mainstream confusion, the breathtaking “Hallelujah” has gone on to be covered by over 200 artists – including Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan and Rufus Wainwright – and has been the focus of both a BBC documentary and full-length book.

Even with his notoriety, Cohen has remained perfectly enigmatic over the years.


To celebrate this great Canadian artist, his 2013 Juno nominations, upcoming tour and follow-up album – I have a pair of tickets (courtesy of AEG Live) to give away to see Leonard Cohen live on April 9 at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton. This is his only Ontario show, so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!

To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling me about your favourite Leonard Cohen song or memory. For bonus entry points, subscribe to inanutshell.ca here on our homepage. Kaylee and I will be attending the show, as well – we look forward to meeting you fellow Leonard lovers there. Contest closes on Friday, March 1st - Good luck!

For more tour information, visit:  http://www.leonardcohen.com/us/tour/events

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*Banner and top photo: c/o AEG, Bottom photo: Jess Huddleston


  1. Um…. yes please! Sweet deal, girl! My favourite song is “I’m Your Man.”

  2. Agnes Barr-Klouman says:

    When I was young, my mother would play and sing along to Leonard Cohen’s songs any time we would drive somewhere. It was not until I was my early 20’s that I came to appreciate the man as a true poet and musician. The song which brings me back to those car rides the most is Everybody Knows.

  3. Colleen Brethour says:

    I began to understand the importance and artistry of Leonard Cohen as I began to explore the history behind my favorite contemporary folk artists who consistently referenced his genius.
    My favorite song is “hallelujah”, not only the original but the version done by KD Lang.
    My favorite memory involving Leonard Cohen involves my parents (who I would give the tickets too) Cohen was the first live show my mother and father were able to attend following my mother’s brain injury which made it difficult for her to enjoy music and crowds. My mother was so excited and told my father she hoped to see him again soon. It would be amazing to surprise them with these tickets.

  4. Tammy A says:

    Every song brings on an emotional bouquet…however Suzanne is number one for its ability to grab way down to the stomach of human emotion….

  5. Tina Madeliene says:

    i LOVE leonard and would so love to see. i would hate to miss out on this opporunity of a lifetime, but can not afford tickets at this time! if it be your will http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNfNdflTs5E is my all time fav … and the recitation of a thousand kisses deep a hard second! tina

  6. tina says:

    as for favourite memories … listening to him while going through a prolonged dark night of the soul was a lifeline to me … i’d fall to sleep and wake up to having been cradled by him all night long.

  7. tina says:

    hi … just wondering if you have chosen a winner.

  8. Sorry I found out about this contest so late. I have an amazing, though incomplete story, to tell. But I am still putting all the pieces together. It’s a long story a bout the daughter of a Venezuelan writer and politician who exiled in Montreal in the late 1920s. In the 1950s and 60s she frequented the millieu artistique of the French Canadian community and became friend of Leonard Cohen. She was also friend of Justin Trudeau and Gilles Vigneault. This person has a tragic story. She married a famous Quebecker actor who in the late 1960s killed their two sons and then killed himself. After that, apparently people rejected her and she moved to Spain. Its a sad story. The fact is that I am trying to find this person (she just disappeared) and want to talk to anybody who knew her. Since Leonard Cohen was one of those people, I am hopping that he could tell me anything about her, provided that he remembers her at all. That’s why, when I read about this contest, I thought it would be an opportunity to try to talk to Leonard Cohen at least 5 minutes and ask him about his. Maybe it won’t be possible, but it’s worth the chance. I’ve been investigating for a year and I’m still lost. Anyway, this is the story I wanted to share.

  9. I’m really sorry. I meant Pierre Trudeau, not Justin.

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