Art Bergmann Made A Member Of The Order Of Canada
In possibly one of the most surprising announcements in honour list history, Canadian punk rock legend Art Bergmann has been awarded the Order of Canada by the countries government.
Bergmann was honoured by the Canadian government for his “for his indelible contributions to the Canadian punk music scene”, a fact that no-one could argue against. The 67-year-old rocker has been making music since the 1970s as part of the punk rock band Young Canadians and later as a solo artist as well. The Order of Canada is the second-highest national honour in the country after the Order of Merit.
As one of the country’s finest musicians, his contribution to the music industry is undeniable, but the Order of Canada award still came as a huge surprise because of the nature of his career. He has spent the vast majority of his life and time in music, creating anti-establishment songs and challenging the status quo.
“I just thought it was a joke by maybe some friends that have grown up through the years and now work… at the Governor General’s office. Because I have been toiling in the underground for years, and awards like this are kind of anathema. So, you know, this would be the ultimate leg-pulling, I would think,” Bergmann told As It Happens about his feelings upon learning he would receive the award. “
Punk rock movement
While punk rock is seen as a form of rebellion against the establishment, there is no denying it began to grow in mainstream appeal throughout the 80s and 90s, and Bergmann was a considerable part of that in Canada.
While leaders worldwide would not have appreciated the anti-establishment messaging inherent in most punk rock, they have come to appreciate the role the music genre played in opening people’s eyes to issues of misogyny, racialism, and genocide among other significant issues plaguing the globe.
While the punk rock movement has slowed down somewhat since the turn of the century, the impact it had on the world continues to be remembered and celebrated in video games such as Orwell and Shadowrun: Dragonfall and films like Brothers of the Head (2005) and What We Do Is Secret (2007). There is even a Punk Rocker™ slot game that can be found at some online casinos in Canada such as 7Bit Casino.
What’s next for Art Bergmann?
Despite his age and some very misguided people’s suggestion he might have sold out by accepting the Order of Canada award, Bergmann continues to follow his passion and make punk rock music. In 2019, he signed with Porterhouse Records to record a new full-length studio album titled Late Stage Dementia.
In addition to signing with Porterhouse, Bergmann ran a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to cover recording costs. He set a target of $10,000 and reach it just in time on the final day of the campaign. It was due to be released in late 2020, however, because of circumstances out of his and the record label’s control, it had to be pushed back to early 2021, which is certainly something to look forward to, but hasn’t helped the sellout claims one bit.
“Hi, gracious donors to Art Bergmann’s Late Stage Empire Dementia. The long wait is almost over. The album release is coming in . A single from the album is being rushed out now with video to support all the peoples fighting fascism in the streets,” he posted to his website artbergmann.com.
Impatient fans of Bergmann and, by extension, the Young Canadians need not fret too much though. Alongside the release of the song and music video mentioned above, Bergmann and Porterhouse announced the band’s Hawaii EP’s reissue on vinyl towards the end of 2020.