The Tragically Hip to receive Humanitarian Award at Junos
Members of The Tragically Hip (left to right) Gord Sinclair, Paul Langlois, Gord Downie, Johnny Fay and Rob Baker are shown in a recent handout photo. (The Canadian Press/HO-Clemens Rikken)
TORONTO -- The Tragically Hip will receive the 2021 Humanitarian Award at this year’s Juno Awards, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday.
The beloved Kingston, Ont., rockers will receive the award for the band’s philanthropic and humanitarian contributions spanning several decades.
“For decades, this group of musical brothers has contributed to helping improve the social well-being of others and protecting the vast natural wonders of this country we call home,” Allan Reid, president and CEO of the Junos, said in a news release.
Over the years, The Hip have hosted and played in several benefit shows to raise funds for hospitals in their hometown as well as non-government organizations. The band has also raised and donated money to several charities including Camp Trillium and the Special Olympics.
“After a challenging year when the power of kindness and generosity were more necessary than ever, we are proud to commemorate the band’s tireless activism and charitable achievements,” Reid said.
The Hip also raised more than $1 million for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Sunnybrook Foundation during the band’s final 15-show tour in 2016, a year before frontman Gord Downie died of brain cancer at age 53.
The surviving members said they are “honoured” to be receiving the award, while praising the late Downie for setting an example.
“Our admiration for the past recipients makes it impossible not to feel humbled as well. We learned early on back in Kingston that you can accomplish great things with a stage and a willing audience,” The Hip said in a statement. “It’s about building community, and no one appreciated that responsibility more than Gord Downie. He was committed to social and environmental justice and we remain inspired by his example.
“Best intentions can achieve little without loyal support and action, so we consider this award as much a recognition for fans of our group, as they have been there for us through everything, and for every cause, and for that we are eternally grateful. We share this honour with you,” the band said.
The Hip will receive the award during the JUNO Awards broadcast on May 16. Past Humanitarian Award recipients include David Foster, Arcade Fire, Rush, Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida.