Tom Cochrane’s life is now truly a highway

November 07, 2016

Tom Cochrane, a small-town Manitoba boy done good, got some well-deserved recognition from his home province on Halloween. The singer-songwriter, who fronts the band Red Rider on top of his solo work, has won eight Juno Awards, and is an Officer in the Order of Canada got to make a pretty special addition to his list of achievements. There’s now a 322-kilometre stretch on Provincial Road 391 between Lynn Lake (Cochrane’s hometown) and Thompson in Manitoba named Tom Cochrane’s Life Is A Highway.

Perhaps most effectively (and wonderfully) used in an episode of The Office—a small but joyful moment in the one with the devastating Michael Scott/Holly Flax breakup—”Life Is a Highway” enjoyed a ridiculous amount of success. Coming from Cochrane’s 1991 album Mad Mad World, it also made an appearance via Rascal Flatts in the Disney Pixar movie Cars, has been covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks, and was certified Gold. It was Cochrane’s only Top 40 hit in the United States.

As CBC reports, James Lindsay—the mayor of Lynn Lake (pop. 674 according to the 2011 census)—called Cochrane the town’s “most famous resident.” Cochrane himself had some sweet things to say about his home province as well: “You can leave Manitoba, but it never leaves you.” Cochrane is set to play the remote town as part of the Mad Mad World 25th anniversary tour on Aug. 20, 2017. To get there, he’s gonna have to ride the highway all night long, indeed—Lynn Lake is over 1,000 km northwest of Winnipeg.

Also, make sure to check out the Showcase: Tom Cochrane exhibition on now at Studio Bell until April 30, 2017.

Showcase: Tom Cochrane on now at Studio Bell

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

  • Showcase: Tom Cochrane

    Showcase: Tom Cochrane

 

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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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