A commissioned work (aka: work-for-hire) is where an individual or organization engages a composer/author to create an original piece of music. There exists in many cultures, the timeless tradition of preserving history in song.

Bruce Coughlan has long been acknowledged as a premier composer of historic Canadian based ballads. For the past 25+ years, he has been writing and performing songs & stories about historic heroes, villains and events that helped shape the Canadian West. From the first arrival of explorers like George Vancouver and Alexander McKenzie, and the evolution that followed. Of the Fur Trade region once known as “New Caledonia,” into a Colony of Britain, and eventually, into a province of Canada.

"Today many historic sites and small museums in BC include Bruce’s songs of British Columbia as audio components of their exhibits and gift shops. The songs tell historical stories in compelling lyrics and tunes and lead listeners to think about a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. There is no other musician who has done this for B.C."

Jennifer Iredale - former Director, Heritage Branch, Province of BC



In 2022 Bruce was commissioned by the British Columbia Farm Museum in Fort Langley, to create a works celebrating our provincial farming heritage. Bruce chose as his subject pioneer/agriculturist Samuel Robertson.

With the support SOCAN Foundation, the Creative Compass Society and private donors, this song was composed, recorded, and a modest music video was produced.


Commissioned by the BC Farm Museum in Fort Langley, BC, to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2017.


Commissioned by BC Coast Mountain Tourism in 2008 to commemorate the bicentennial of Simon Fraser’s historic journey down the mighty river that bares his name.


Commissioned by the Village of Kinlochbervie, Scotland to commemorate a local hero, whom having distinguished himself on the battlefield in WW1, moved to Canada, where he further distinguished himself as a Vancouver Police officer.

Regrettably, Robert McBeath was shot and killed in the line of duty.