Previous recipients include Bruce Cockburn, Bryan Adams, Simple Plan, and this year’s winner, Nelly Furtado.
Neill Dixon, president & CEO, Canadian Music Week, welcomed the announcement. "We praise their spirit and determination in philanthropic and humanitarian causes, as their dedication to multiple charities and organizations is very inspirational,” he said of Rush. “They have shown extraordinary support in social involvement and charitable causes, and we are excited to celebrate them at this year's awards."
Gary Slaight, president and CEO Slaight Communications Inc., paid homage to the band’s tireless campaigning for people in need. In recent years, the group has “raised money for food banks, Casey House, the Kidney Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, AIDS research; the list goes on,” he explained. “Alex, Geddy and Neil have been in my family's rock'n'roll life since the early days when we started Q107 in the late 1970s, and it gives me real pleasure today to thank these three exemplary musicians, on behalf of the Slaight Family, in awarding them with the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Award. Good deeds deserve acknowledgement and this is one group that exemplifies the spirit of giving."
Rush has sold more than 40 million albums -- and raised millions more for good causes -- over a celebrated, 40-year-plus career. The musos were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996 and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010. The veteran act was entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Thursday’s announcement coincides with the premiere of the documentary R40 Tour, Rush Time Stand Still (Anthem/Ole/Universal) at Cineplex/Landmark theaters across Canada and Fathom in the U.S. The film will be distributed on Blu-ray and DVD from Nov. 18.
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