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If you were to ask almost any Canadian woman of a certain age, she'll tell you that Sarah McLachlan's award-winning album, 'Fumbling Towards Ecstasy' changed her life. Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan was able to capture in song exactly what a generation of young women couldn't express - or even find on the airwaves back then: angst, yearning, ferocity. Sarah was their voice and her fans couldn't get enough of her exquisite songs and intelligent, emotive lyrics.
Over a dozen recordings later, this pioneering feminist icon has sold over 40 million records worldwide, won 3 Grammys Awards, has taken home 8 Juno Awards, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Not bad for the shy young musician who was riding her skateboard and washing dishes in Halifax when she was discovered at age 17.
But Sarah's cultural legacy is more than her music: she helped usher in a new era of women musicians in the 1990s when she founded the pioneering 'Lilith Fair', the hugely successful music event with an all-female lineup that raised over 7 million for charities. Over the years she's also been active in many charities including the ASPCA and the Rick Hansen Foundation. In an effort to bring free music education to at-risk youth in Vancouver, she opened the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in 2001.
In 2011 Simon Fraser University conferred Sarah McLachlan the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa for raising millions of dollars for causes including women's charities, AIDS sufferers and inner-city kids.