Published Mar 07, 2018Arcade Fire have been selected as the recipients of the 2018 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award.
The band are being honoured for their ongoing humanitarian work with the people of Haiti. To date, they have raised more than $4 million, trained thousands of outreach volunteers, and educated and engaged hundreds of thousands of their fans.
As early as 2004, the band played benefit shows for Albert Schweitzer's hospital in Haiti. In 2006, the band began donating $1 from every concert ticket sold to Partners in Health, a Haitian-founded non-profit delivering healthcare to some of the world's poorest regions.
The band also continues to work with KANPE (co-founded by the band's Régine Chassagne and dedicated to establishing sustainable financial independence for families through health, nutrition, housing, education, agriculture and leadership) and Artists for Peace and Justice, which founded The Artists Institute in Haiti to provide free college programs for art and technology.
In 2014, frontman Win Butler started selling a limited-edition coffee blend called RaRa Coffee with proceeds going to Partners in Health and the Haiti Coffee Academy.
That same year, some of the band members teamed up with Partners in Health and co-founded Plus 1, a charitable organization designed to engage fans with humanitarian issues by donating $1 from each ticket sold to high-impact charities. To date, more than $6 million has been raised by Plus 1 for various charities, and participating artists include the National, Sam Smith, Chvrches, Flume, Lights and Metric.
Upon learning of their award, Arcade Fire released a statement. It reads:
We're deeply honoured to receive the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit award. For more than a decade our fans have joined us in supporting the organizations Partners in Health and KANPE and the work they do in Haiti. These relationships have profoundly influenced our lives and our art. This award and the example of the Slaight family, are both a great support and a motivation to keep doing more.
The award will be presented to the band during the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards gala. The Canadian Music Week-affiliated event takes place on May 10 at Rebel in Toronto.
It was also announced today that Canadian songwriting hero Jim Cuddy would be the recipient of the 2018 MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award, which recognizes individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on music education and MusiCounts. That award will also be handed out at the gala.