Canadian Music Week is pleased to announce that Sarah McLachlan, the Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, will be honoured with the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award in recognition of her longstanding commitment to charitable initiatives. The award - bestowed to an individual having demonstrated the highest ideals and qualities of humanitarian service and in doing so, has reflected those ideals of courage and compassion - will be presented at the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards on Thursday, March 10, 2011, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, during Canadian Music Week in Toronto."As a gifted artist, Sarah McLachlan has inspired fans and her peers worldwide through her music and profound lyrics. As a philanthropist and human being, her spirit, generosity and compassion have encouraged us to look outside our windows and see the world that needs our aid. It is an honour to present Sarah McLachlan with the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award as she embodies the true form of humanitarianism in all that she does," says Gary Slaight, President & CEO of Slaight Communications.
"I am thrilled to be the recipient of the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award and honoured to be recognized by a family that has given so much themselves," expresses Sarah.
Since the release of her gold-selling debut album Touch in 1988, Sarah McLachlan has sold over 40 million recordings worldwide. Her celebrated career has been recognized with multi-platinum sales of her albums, numerous nominations and music awards, as well as sold-out tours around the world. Along with her music successes, Sarah McLachlan is renowned as a benevolent supporter of social change, a spokesperson for animal rights, and an advocate of music education, contributing to organizations and charities worldwide.In 1997, Sarah McLachlan founded Lilith Fair, a touring festival organized to showcase and promote women in music. Over its three-year history, the festival brought together two million people and raised more than $7 million for charities and women's shelters across North America. One of the biggest music festivals of the 1990s, Lilith Fair was the most successful all-female music festival in history, helping launch the careers of several well-known female artists. After an eleven-year hiatus, McLachlan relaunched the festival in June 2010 and in partnership with the i4c Campaign, committed to contributing $1 from each ticket sold to mobilize investments for companies that drive social and environmental change.
On the success of Lilith Fair, Sarah McLachlan was honoured with the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award in 1998 for advancing the careers of women in music. New York Governor George Pataki presented the singer with the award on the 150th anniversary of the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY. Two years later, McLachlan was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada for her outstanding achievements, dedication to the community and service to the nation.In addition to the Lilith Fair concert tours, Sarah McLachlan has also been involved in several other philanthropic causes. In early 2005, she took part in a star-studded tsunami disaster relief telethon, which aired on NBC. She also headlined a benefit concert in Vancouver, titled "One World: The Concert for Tsunami Relief", along with fellow Canadian superstars Avril Lavigne and Bryan Adams, raising over $3.5 million for several Canadian aid agencies working in south and southeast Asia. Later that year, she performed on the Philadelphia stage of Live 8, the multi-city anniversary celebration of Live Aid and G8 summit protest coordinated by Live Aid founder Bob Geldof.
In September 2004, Sarah McLachlan released the socially charged video "World On Fire". Grammy-nominated for Best Short Form Music Video, it cost only $15 to make with the remainder of the $150,000 production budget distributed among eleven charitable organizations around the world including CARE, Engineers Without Borders, Help The Aged, Warchild, and Heifer International.A proponent of music education, the Vancouver-based singer/songwriter founded the Sarah McLachlan Foundation in 1999 to help bring music into the lives of young Canadians, especially in underserved communities. The impact of participation is profound; building self-esteem, and fostering creativity in young people through the power of music.
Four years later, she established the first Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach Program — an Arts Umbrella Project in Vancouver's inner city. The program offers students free music lessons, educational workshops, mentorship and support networks.Sarah McLachlan is an avid supporter of animal welfare and the ASPCA. She filmed a two-minute advertisement for the organization which featured her song "Angel", and has since helped raise about $30 million for the ASPCA since it began airing in 2003. She has also been the spokesperson for the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, advocating the kind, caring and humane treatment of animals since 2006.
Sarah McLachlan is an eight-time JUNO Award winner and three-time Grammy Award winner. Since her signing with Arista Records nearly two decades ago, every one of her albums has been certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum by CRIA and the RIAA, while five of her albums have reached the Billboard Top 15. In addition to Touch, her award-winning catalog includes a succession of remarkable albums including her 1994 breakthrough Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (3X-platinum), her landmark Surfacing (10X-platinum), 1999ís Mirrorball (4X platinum), 2003ës Afterglow (2X-platinum) and her first-ever career anthology Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan, released in 2008. On June 15, 2010, Sarah McLachlan released her first studio album of new material in seven years, Laws of Illusion.Sarah McLachlan follows previous Humanitarian Spirit Award recipients Gary Slaight, Tom Cochrane and Denise Donlon.Tickets for the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards gala dinner are available for purchase through the Canadian Music Week website at www.cmw.net.
Canadian Music Week is Canada's leading annual entertainment event dedicated to the expression and growth of the country's music, media and entertainment industries. Combining four information-intensive conferences; a trade exposition; a film festival; four awards shows and the nation's largest New Music Festival - Canadian Music Fest - CMW spans a five-day period from March 9 to March 13, 2011 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and various downtown Toronto venues, attracting participants from across the globe. For more information, visit www.cmw.net.