Neil Young will be honored with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at Canada's 40th annual Juno Awards Mar. 27 in Toronto, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has announced.
Young, who was forced to cancel an appearance at the 2005 Juno Awards in Winnipeg to recuperate from surgery for a brain aneurysm, will receive the honor on the CTV broadcast from the Air Canada Centre. The award is named after CHUM Ltd. founder Allan Waters and recognizes an outstanding Canadian artist whose humanitarian contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada.
"We are thrilled to salute Neil Young's committed and compassionate legacy. As a driving force behind one of music's most successful fundraising events, Farm Aid, and a key participant in Live 8 right here at home, plus many other deserving causes and programs, his tenacity and spirit is highly regarded among his peers and serves as an inspiration to all of us," CARAS president and CEO Melanie Berry said in a statement.
Young, who has composed songs about everything from racism to the Kent State shootings over 37 studio albums and a 40-plus-year career, co-founded the benefit concert Farm Aid in 1985 which has since raised more than $37 million in 25 years. In 1986, with funds raised from another benefit concert, Young and wife Pegi co-founded The Bridge School to help educate children with severe speech and physical impairments. Two of their three children have cerebral palsy. The regular Bridge School Benefit Concert helped them expand and open a detached facility in 1995.
A U.S. resident, Young retains his Canadian citizenship and continues to support causes at home, such as the famine relief single "Tears Are Not Enough," the Live 8 concert, and more recent Summer Sessions to raise funds for Sarah McLachlan's Foundation, which offers free music programs to children in underserved communities.
Young is a five-time Juno Award winner, was inducted to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1982 and has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2010 was named MusiCares person of the year by The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.