DRAKE HONOURED WITH ALLAN SLAIGHT AWARD FROM CANADA’S WALK OF FAME
award RECOGNIZES young, inspirational canadians
(Toronto, Ontario) August 16, 2011 – Canada’s Walk of Fame announced today that internationally renowned, Canadian-born superstar Drake, will be the recipient of this year’s Allan Slaight Award. In its second year, the Allan Slaight Award is presented to a young Canadian making a positive impact in the fields of music, film, literature, visual or performing arts, sports, innovation or philanthropy.
The award, which is accompanied by a $10,000 honourarium, will be presented to Drake during the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards on Global and SliceTM (date/time TBA). The megastar has selected to donate the honourarium to Dixon Hall – a community-based service that aims to create opportunities for people of all ages to dream, to achieve and to live full and rewarding lives in low-income neighbourhoods of Toronto.
“I am a proud Canadian, and I am grateful to Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Slaight Foundation for this award,” said Drake.
“At 24 years of age, Drake has already achieved what has taken others a lifetime to do. He is kind, smart, talented, philanthropic and driven. He is an inspiring example to all, and we are proud to recognize him this year as our young Canadian making a positive impact,” said Peter Soumalias, Founding Director, Canada’s Walk of Fame.
“Drake is a true Canadian ambassador who continues to prove that with hard work, dreams can become reality,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO, Slaight Communications.
Since launching his acting career in 2001, Drake (birth name Aubrey Graham) has gone on to take the music world by storm over the past few years, becoming one of the fastest rising newcomers ever in hip-hop. His very first single “Best I Ever Had” reached #1 on the Billboard Rap Chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- accomplishments made without being signed to a label. After an intense bidding war, Drake signed to Aspire / Young Money / Cash Money / Universal Music Canada and released his platinum-selling debut album Thank Me Later in 2010.
With just one full-length album under his belt, the Universal Music Canada recording artist has amassed two JUNO Awards, six Grammy Award nominations and various MTV, VMA, MTVU, AMA and BET Award nominations and wins.
His sophomore album, Take Care is slated for release on October 24, 2011.
Drake has worked with, and earned the respect of, the most innovative artists in the hip-hop world, including Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Eminem, plus other musicians including Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Mary J. Blige. He has also become a staple at awards shows across the planet, performing alongside other internationally acclaimed artists such as Lil Wayne, Eminem, Rihanna and fellow Canadian pop phenom, Justin Bieber. Earlier this year, Drake earned critical acclaim as one of the youngest-ever hosts of THE JUNO AWARDS.
Since April 2010, Drake has headlined the Away From Home Tour, dubbed the Campus Consciousness Tour, as well as his best-selling Light Dreams and Nightmares Tour, which included two sold-out nights at Radio City Music Hall.
As an actor, Drake has gained worldwide attention for playing Jimmy Brooks on the cult hit, award-winning drama series DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION.
As a philanthropist, the young star just recently headlined his second annual OVO Festival in his hometown of Toronto (July 31) along with Rick Ross and The Weeknd. A portion of the proceeds from this Festival benefited Jake’s House for Autism and The MS Society. In 2010, Drake lent his vocals to Young Artists for Haiti and the re-recording of K’NAAN’s “Wavin’ Flag.” The single, which featured contributions from more than 50 young Canadian artists, has raised over $2 million to-date. In addition, Drake has also supported the following organizations through donations and/or special appearances: the Dixon Hall Music School, Friends of Music Therapy at SickKids and someonelikeme.ca.
About Allan Slaight
A leading figure in the Canadian broadcasting industry for more than five decades, Allan Slaight began his career in the late 1940s as a news reporter/announcer in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Over the next decade, Slaight held announcing and news positions at various radio stations in Edmonton, Alberta.
In 1956, Slaight landed the General Sales Manager position at CHED radio station in Edmonton and two years later became Program Director of CHUM Radio in Toronto, and later, Vice President and General Manager in 1965. He is widely acknowledged to be the pioneer of Top 40 Radio in Canada. In 1977, he launched Q107, which was responsible for establishing dozens of Canadian artists through the ‘70s and ‘80s.
In 1985, he established Slaight Communications and acquired Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., the largest privately owned multi-media company in Canada with 51 radio stations and two television stations across the country plus a retail marketing services company in 1985. Slaight was the sole owner of the corporation until 2007 when he sold the radio and broadcasting rights to Astral Media.
As one of Canada’s leading philanthropists, Allan Slaight holds a strong belief in Canadian culture. He has provided significant support to many of Canada’s leading cultural institutions including the newly renovated AGO, and the new home of the Toronto International Film Festival. Allan Slaight is a longtime supporter of the Shaw and Stratford Festivals and through the Slaight Family Foundation has extended his support to small, aspiring arts organizations that cater to disadvantaged youth. Slaight Family support has helped trail blaze new cures in cancer and brain research and helped many social service agencies improve the lives of those less fortunate.
Allan Slaight has also contributed his own skills and expertise by serving on many charitable boards in the past including: Women’s College Hospital, the Shaw Festival, York University, the Toronto International Film Festival and the United Way of Greater Toronto, where he served as campaign chair in 1985. Allan Slaight was also instrumental in bringing the Toronto Raptors to Toronto and building the Air Canada. Centre.
A pioneer of rock and roll, Slaight is an inductee of the Broadcast Hall of Fame (1997), the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Ryerson Polytechnic University (2000), was appointed Member of the Order of Canada (2001), and was the recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award (2005) for his contribution to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry.
A pioneer of rock and roll, Slaight is an inductee of the Broadcast Hall of Fame (1997), the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Ryerson Polytechnic University (2000), was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada (2001), and was the recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award (2005) for his contribution to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry.
About Canada’s Walk of Fame
Established in 1998, Canada’s Walk of Fame (CWOF) aims to educate, inform, and inspire through the permanent celebration of achievements in Canadian music, sport, film and television as well as the literary, visual and performing arts, and science and innovation. In 2010, CWOF expanded to include a four-day festival of music, comedy and film featuring some of Canada’s most popular and iconic performers. The annual celebration culminates in a televised awards special that honours Canada’s finest stars from the worlds of arts, entertainment and sports. Each inductee is immortalized, their names forever cemented into the sidewalks of Toronto’s Entertainment District. To-date, 131 Canadians have been honoured, including Margaret Atwood, Howie Mandel, Steve Nash, Michael J. Fox and Blue Rodeo. A complete list of inductees along with more information on Canada’s Walk of Fame can be found at www.canadaswalkoffame.com.