Neil Young To Receive The Allan Waters Humanitarian Award At Junos

By Karen Bliss 1/30/11 |

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Neil Young hasn't attended the Juno Awards in 29 years, but the Canadian music legend will be on hand to accept the 2011 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the 40th anniversary show, March 27, at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

Young, co-founder of Farm Aid and the Bridge School Benefit Concert, is receiving the esteemed award as "an outstanding Canadian artist whose humanitarian contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada," according to the criteria from The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), the organization behind the Junos.

Named after the founder of media conglomerate CHUM Ltd., past recipients of the Allan Waters Humanitarian include Bryan Adams (2010), Sarah McLachlan (2009), Paul Brandt (2008), Tom Jackson (2007) and Bruce Cockburn (2006).

"We are thrilled to salute Neil Young's committed and compassionate legacy," CARAS president and CEO Melanie Berry said in a press statement. "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."

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Young co-founded the benefit concert Farm Aid in 1985, in support of family farmers in America, which has raised more than $37 million in 25 years. In 1986, with monies raised from another benefit concert, Young and wife Pegi co-founded The Bridge School in California to help educate children with severe speech and physical impairments. Two of their three children have cerebral palsy. Funds raised from the regular Bridge School Benefit Concert enabled them to open a detached facility in 1995.

In 2010, Americas National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), which puts on the Grammy Awards, named Young MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his philanthropic work. MusiCares is NARAS's non-profit health care organization for musician. The award is selected by the MusiCares Foundation and presented during Grammy week.

Young was scheduled to appear at the Junos in 2005 in his hometown of Winnipeg, but had to cancel on doctors order after he underwent an operation for a brain aneurism. Over his 40-plus year career and 37 studio albums, Young has won five Juno Awards and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1982. In 2009, the Canadian government made him an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The 40th anniversary of the Juno Awards will be televised nationally on CTV.


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