In April, the members of RUSH: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart were named the 2017 recipients of the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award at Canadian Indie Week. The pivotal Canadian rock band have long used their platform as a means of social activism, meeting the prestigious award’s standards as entertainers who “embody the humanitarian and philanthropic spirit.”
In 2008, Rush donated $100,000 from a show in Winnipeg to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Later in the same Snakes and Arrows tour, the band donated another $100,000 to Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation.
Along with the title award, comes the prize of $40,000 to be donated to the band’s charity of choice. Unanimously, the band voted for Gord Downie’s Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Hospital. The band posted the following statement on their website:
“We are pleased to direct this generous donation from the Allan Slaight Humanitarian award to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook. Many Canadian families have been affected either directly or indirectly by this terrible disease. Through Gord’s courageous efforts this cause is now getting the attention it desperately deserves. As a fellow musician and friend it’s our turn to help support his efforts to fight Brain Cancer now.”
Dr. James Perry, head of neurology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, made this statement shortly after:
“We are thrilled to learn Rush has made such a donation. The Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research will help give us the tools we need to find ways to treat the untreatable. Right now we are investigating new drugs, surgical techniques and genetic therapies. We are using ultrasound to reach tumours that couldn’t be reached before. The funds so generously donated by RUSH will support us as we continue our pioneering work, to the benefit of brain cancer patients not only across Canada but around the world.”
For more information, check out Sunnybrook Hospital’s website.