k.d. lang: songs & silence
Director: Laura O’Grady
Producer: Chehala Leonard
Over her 25-year career, Laura O’Grady has produced, written or directed hundreds of hours of factual, documentary and immersive content. Her films have screened at Hot Docs (Cafe-Nation, Eviction Notice) and won or been nominated for numerous AMPIA and Canadian Screen Awards (Queer Hutterite, Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story, The Former Life of Amber Valley). In 2018, Laura launched the boutique production house Snapshot Studios, where she directed the award-winning documentaries Undetectable and Francheska: Prairie Queen.

k.d. lang

2023 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Popular Music)

Singer–songwriter and activist

Singer–songwriter k.d. lang is known for her wide-ranging musical talent, distinctive and androgynous style, and hauntingly pure mezzo-soprano voice. She has played an important role in the recognition and development of country and popular music in Canada, and her unique creative contribution has added a new dimension to contemporary music. A noted activist, she publicly came out as a lesbian in the early 1990s and is a strong advocate for the gay rights movement, as well as for animal rights and HIV/AIDS care and research.
k.d. (Kathryn Dawn) lang was born in 1961, in Edmonton, and grew up in Consort, Alberta. After appearing in a college stage production based on the life of American country music legend Patsy Cline, she developed a deep interest in the singer. After graduating, she helped form the tribute band the Reclines. Their debut album, A Truly Western Experience (1984), was enthusiastically received and resulted in Ms. lang signing with a major record label.
Her impressive discography spans over three decades and comprises 13 studio albums, one soundtrack, two live albums, four compilation albums and 41 singles, ranging from country to pop and from punk to torch songs. Her 1992 release Ingénue (her first album without the Reclines) proved to be her breakthrough, thanks in part to the hit single “Constant Craving,” which introduced her to a wider audience. She has collaborated with such prominent artists as Roy Orbison (on the Grammy-winning duet “Crying”), Tony Bennett, Elton John, Neko Case and Laura Veirs, Jane Siberry, and country greats Loretta Lynn (Patsy Cline’s best friend), Brenda Lee and Kitty Wells. Her most recent release is Makeover (2021), a collection of classic dance remixes of some of her best-loved songs.
k.d. lang is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence, and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals. Other awards and honours include the GGPAA National Arts Centre Award, four Grammys, eight Junos, and three GLAAD Media Awards (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). She has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame, and holds honorary doctorates from two Canadian universities.