Dal is not one to sit back and bask in the memory of magical days gone by....instead he's looking ahead to the next gig. In fact, he is still one of the busiest musicians in Vancouver... a must-have entertainer for weddings, birthdays, festivals, fund-raising concerts and corporate events. Whether it's a quartet at a senior's centre, a six-piece band at a wedding, a nine or eleven piece swing band for a convention or his fourteen piece big band at the PNE, Dal's music is always enthusiastically received. From classic big band numbers from the thirties and forties to rock and roll, dance numbers and pop tunes, the Dal Richards Orchestra plays music for any occasion and all ages.
Dal has been honored many times for his music, and for his commitment to a number of charitable organizations in the city and province in which he lives. He's been awarded an International Presidents' Citation by Variety the Children's Charity, an honorary doctorate by BCIT, lifetime achievement awards from both Tourism Vancouver and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, and he was inducted into the BC Lions Wall of Fame in acknowledgement of his many years as musical director of the half-time shows for the Lions. Dal is a proud recipient of the Order of Canada (1994) and the Order of British Columbia (2003), and was granted the Freedom of the City by Vancouver City Council in 2005. Most recently, Dal was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the UBC at their Spring Convocation.
One of Dal's most memorable honours came in early in 2010 when, shortly after celebrating his 92nd birthday on January 5th, Dal was chosen by Mary McNeil, MLA for Vancouver False Creek and the Minister of State responsible for the Olympics and ActNow BC., to represent the citizens of downtown Vancouver to carry – and run with - the torch in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay as it arrived in Vancouver. Dal was also honoured to be asked to be the Grand Marshall of the 100th anniversary parade of the PNE, Pacific National Exhibition. Dal and his band have entertained audiences for over 70 consecutive years at the PNE, quite a feat. What's next for Dal? 'I'm still having fun leading the band and entertaining British Columbians; and I plan to keep going as long as I can', Dal states.
Dal has been honoured many times for his career as a musician, and for his work on behalf of the community. Dal's awards and honours include:
- Member of the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame
- Variety Club of British Columbia Heart Award
- Variety International Presidential Citation (1993)
- City of Vancouver Civic Merit Award (1994)
- Appointment to the Order of Canada (1995)
- Honorary Doctorate from BCIT (1999)
- Honorary Doctorate from the Open Learning Agency (2001)
- Member of the Order of British Columbia (2003)
- BC Lions Wall of Fame – builder category (2003)
- Heritage Award, Western Canada Music Awards (2005)
- Freedom of the City of Vancouver (2006)
- Honorary Doctor of Letters – University of British Columbia (2010)