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Dawson Creek legend Roy Forbes picks up UBC honorary doctorate

“What an amazing character. What an amazing voice."

Dawson Creek singer songwriter Roy Forbes was recognized by UBC with an honorary degree.

Forbes was given an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of British Columbia, bestowed upon individuals who, in the opinion of the UBC community, fit the criteria of excellence and eminence in their chosen field.

In his acceptance speech, Roy quoted (and sang) from the works of John Lee Hooker, Carl Perkins (via Elvis Presley), Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Bill Henderson.

“It is a bit of a lifetime thing. It is so nice to get the nod. I left Dawson Creek in 1971,” he says of the May 31 convocation.

In his teenage years – his band Crystal Ship was the popular local group.

“My original songwriting and work has always been in play right from the beginning."

Marvelling at the ‘unexpected honour’, Roy thanked his family and those who have worked with him over the past fifty-plus years. He also said a few words about continuing to believe in the mystery and magic of the creative act.

Forbes’ three of four sisters were in attendance as well.

“(It was) very emotional to have and to know from down here and up there in Dawson Creek there were people in the audience, those who know the story from the start.”

Forbes is lining up a Mile Zero show this September – to make up for one cancelled in the summer of 2020 by COVID-19.

“I released Edge of Blue like two weeks before everything was shut down. We had a year of dates booked we had to throw out. This is one of the last make good dates,” he says.

“During the pandemic I had 18 months off. I haven’t been off the road for that long since starting playing at South Peace in 1968.”

At the conclusion of Roy’s speech, UBC President Deborah Buszard said Forbes was amazing. 

“What an amazing character. What an amazing voice."

Forbes’ acceptance speech begins around the forty-minute mark.

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