Canadian Music Week announced Thursday that Gord Downie has been chosen to receive this year’s Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award.
The late Tragically Hip front-man is being recognized for his dedication to educating Canadians about its relationships with Indigenous peoples, including founding the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) in 2016, as well as his work on the board of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a charity to protect Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes.
“Gord Downie was an inspiration to all Canadians, and his life’s work represented the embodiment of all that the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award celebrates,” said Gary Slaight, CEO and President of Slaight Communications/Slaight Family Foundation. “His legacy continues to resonate through his music and lyrics and, most importantly, through the growth and enterprise of The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.”
Article continues after ad
Downie and his bandmates were also involved with a number of charities in their hometown of Kingston, including Almost Home, Camp Trillium, and the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston.
Neill Dixon, President of Canadian Music Week, said Gord Downie’s legacy during his final years was to create a positive change in Canada, adding: “The compassion and determination of Gord Downie is at the heart of the “Humanitarian Spirit” Award and we are thrilled to celebrate him at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards.”
Downie family representatives will receive the award on Gord’s behalf at the annual Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner on May 9 in Toronto.
In 2016, the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award was presented to the rock group Rush, who chose to give its $40,000 donation component to the Gord Downie Brain Cancer Fund. The previous year, Kingston-born performer Bryan Adams received the award in recognition of his social activism and benevolent support of humanitarian interests and causes.
Read more about Gord Downie receiving the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award at Broadway World.