Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins calls out sexism in the music industry
'With my count, after tonight, there'll be around 100 men and 10 women in the Hall of Fame. That’s not right'
Three decades and 16 studio albums after forming, folk-rock band Cowboy Junkies were recently inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame — and singer Margo Timmins' acceptance speech came with a powerful message.
"I know we would all like to think that a boys' club does not exist in our industry, but just look around you," she said, with bandmates Alon Anton and Michael and Peter Timmins (also her brothers) standing behind her onstage. "Even tonight, there are 10 inductees, and one woman [laughs]. And with my count, after tonight, there will be around 100 men and 10 women in the Hall of Fame. That's not right."
Timmins began her speech saying she'd had something completely different written down earlier, but after spending time talking to her 16-year-old son, Ed, about the suffragette movement the day before, she felt that she needed to speak up onstage at the Oct. 27 induction ceremony at Calgary's Studio Bell.
"I know that there are many men and women in our industry who struggle every day to create change, and to you I give you my respect and my support," she continued. "But there are also many women and men who think that with time, things will become equal and all will be well eventually. And perhaps they're right. But what I say to that is, if you are thinking in this way, you have to remember, as we wait, the next generation of talented and creative women will be asked or allowed to join our industry by going through the side door — the way that women have entered the world of men for centuries, and it's just wrong. So all I ask is that you people who are here, who are so powerful, you lead our industry, to think about it. And that somehow we have to bring in more women. Allow our daughters to know that if they want to be riggers, sound engineers, lighting techs, they can do it and they can join us on the road."
Watch Timmins' full speech above.