Gord Downie Named 2019 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award Recipient

Gord Downie Named 2019 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award Recipient
Photo: Gordon Hawkins
Gord Downie has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award.

Prior to his passing in 2017, Downie dedicated his last few years of life to educating Canadians about their country's fractured relationships with its Indigenous peoples, founding the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) in 2016 to move towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Downie also served on the board for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a water charity working to protect Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes.

"Gord Downie created a legacy during his final years, dedicated to creating a positive change in Canada. This legacy demonstrates how just one story can inspire an entire generation," Canadian Music Week president Neill Dixon said in a statement. "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 and his Tragically Hip bandmates also worked with many charitable organizations in their hometown of Kingston, ON, including Almost Home, Camp Trillium, the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston and the benefit for their friend and radio host Glenn Williams. In 2000, the band headlined a benefit concert for War Child Canada in Winnipeg, the largest outdoor benefit performance in the country at the time.

Representatives from the Downie family will receive the award at the annual Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner in Toronto on May 9.

Downie recently had a light rail train named in his honour by the city of Ottawa.