Buffy Sainte-Marie performs at the Port Theatre Sunday (Nov. 20) at 7:45 p.m. She will receive an honorary doctorate from Vancouver Island University during a special convocation Monday (Nov. 21) at 12:30 p.m. at Malaspina Theatre.

Buffy Sainte-Marie performs at the Port Theatre Sunday (Nov. 20) at 7:45 p.m. She will receive an honorary doctorate from Vancouver Island University during a special convocation Monday (Nov. 21) at 12:30 p.m. at Malaspina Theatre.

Buffy Sainte-Marie performs a rare solo show at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre

Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie to receive an honorary doctorate from Vancouver Island University at Malaspina Theatre.

Seeing a piano when she was three years old changed Buffy Sainte-Marie’s life, says the singer-songwriter.

“Instant love, pure fun, the prime ingredient for creativity,” said Sainte-Marie in an e-mail. “I taught myself to play, wrote my own songs right away. But I never took lessons and still can’t read music.”

Sainte-Marie said she didn’t play with Barbies or play sports when she was younger, but played with music, dance, crayons, paints and her imagination.

Sainte-Marie says she’s continuously making demos and when she is ready to tour, she chooses songs that feel right to her.

“I write all the time, kinda like dreaming, and never because of record business or other outside pressure,” said Sainte-Marie.

Her latest album Power in the Blood was released in the spring of 2015.

Sainte-Marie said some of the songs she wrote more than 40 years ago, but at that time they were “blacklisted and nobody wanted to play them.” She re-wrote the lyrics for the album’s title song, which was originally a song by one of her favourite groups, Alabama 3.

Sainte-Marie performs during a solo show at the Port Theatre Sunday (Nov. 20) at 7:45 p.m.

Tickets are $52, $48 members and $15 for students and are available by calling 250-754-8550 or visiting www.porttheatre.com.

Sainte-Marie is receiving an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Vancouver Island University during a special meeting of convocation at Malaspina Theatre Monday (Nov. 21) at 12:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the lobby. The public is welcome to attend.

“It’s a beautiful honour,” said Sainte-Marie about receiving the doctorate.