JUNOs 2018 to honour music-industry legend Gary Slaight with Humanitarian Award

Photo: Tom Sandler
January 9, 2018

The 2018 JUNOs will honour music industry leader and philanthropist Gary Slaight with the Humanitarian Award. Slaight has devoted his life to Canadian music, emerging Canadian artists, and his philanthropic support of health care, social service, culture, and at-risk youth -- both at home and abroad.

The annual JUNOs Humanitarian Award celebrates Canadian artists or industry leaders who've made a positive impact on social welfare worldwide. This year’s award will be bestowed at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards, presented by SOCAN, on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“I'm truly honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Humanitarian Award," said Slaight. "Our family has had a tradition of giving back to the community that transcends from my parents Allan and Ada Slaight. The Slaight Family Foundation, created as a result of the sale of Standard Broadcasting, is a tribute to my parents' commitment to community, and of which I am proud to lead… Our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us, and those needing our support globally.”

“We're honoured to present Gary Slaight with the Humanitarian Award,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS), The JUNO Awards, and MusiCounts. “His commitment to helping others, and continued selflessness, places him in a category of his own. Gary’s dedication to making the world a better place is truly inspiring.”

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Slaight served as General Manager of Toronto rock radio station Q107; led the team at Standard Radio as President, expanding from seven radio stations in 1987 to 52 in 2007; and helped bring satellite radio services to Canada in 2005 with the establishment of Sirius Satellite Radio Canada. After the sale of Standard Broadcasting to Astral Media, Gary and father Allan decided to direct proceeds from the sale to philanthropic initiatives via The Slaight Family Foundation, and towards supporting the Canadian music industry and emerging artists through Slaight Music.

Slaight has passionately supported Canadian artists through the creation of Slaight Music’s It’s Your Shot, as well as the Canadian Radio Music Awards (CRMAs).  His ongoing efforts have developed The Polaris Music Prize via The Slaight Family Heritage Prize; The Slaight Family Music Lab at the Canadian Film Centre; The Allan Slaight Stage at Massey Hall; The Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class; The Canadian Music Week Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award; and The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame via The Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award.

Recent Slaight Family Foundation initiatives include: $50M to five Toronto downtown hospitals to improve health services; $7M to seven non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to increase their capacity to address international issues of poverty, HIV/AIDS, human rights abuse, and improving the development of women and girls; $11M to 11 Canadian national charities supporting the healthy development of children across Canada; and $12 million to 15 not-for-profit organizations working to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of Canada’s Indigenous populations.

Often recognized by his peers, Gary Slaight was named Broadcast Executive of the Year at the Annual Music Industry Awards by Canadian Music Week (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998); he was celebrated by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters with the Award for Outstanding Community Service by an Individual Broadcaster (2004); Slaight was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame (2005); and was the recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award (2012) and 2016 SOCAN Special Achievement Award. In 2014, Slaight was inducted into The Order of Canada.