Toronto, ON (November 5, 2013) — The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida as the recipients of the 2014 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Bell Media. Kreviazuk and Maida exemplify the spirit of the award through their devotion to philanthropy and humanitarian causes at home and abroad. Kreviazuk, a two-time JUNO Award winner and Maida — a four-time winner with Our Lady Peace — are one of Canada’s most influential cultural couples, sharing a passion and commitment that goes well beyond music. Ardent believers in social equality, they have been formidable advocates for the less fortunate — from mental health patients and aboriginal communities to war-torn societies.
The Allan Waters Humanitarian Award recognizes outstanding Canadian artists whose contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada. Named after CHUM Ltd. founder Allan Waters, the award is made possible by funding from BCE-Bell Media Benefits. It will be presented to Kreviazuk and Maida at the 2014 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on March 29, 2014 in Winnipeg.
“Not only am I able to express myself, and be able to play music for others and be creative for a living in life, but I can go to the next level and be a part of true greatness — the process of another human being’s healing, possibly playing even a small role in improving the quality of life of another,” Kreviazuk said.
Kreviazuk made her critically acclaimed full-length debut, Under These Rocks and Stones, in 1997. Since then, the Winnipeg born singer-songwriter has released five more studio albums, and garnered five JUNO Award nominations. Maida has forged a dynamic career as a solo artist and the front man for the band Our Lady Peace, 25-time JUNO Award nominees, including winners for Rock Album of the Year in 2003 (Gravity) and 1998 (Clumsy).
The pair have also co-written countless hits for artists such as Kelly Clarkson, David Cook and Carrie Underwood.
“I was first drawn to music because of the inherent ‘hope’ it provided me,” Maida said. “Social activism carries that same promise and the two together have shaped and taught me more than I could ever repay.”
While Kreviazuk and Maida are quick to lend their time to the studio and stage, they are equally committed to lending their help to those in need — both in Canada and internationally. Kreviazuk’s an honourary founder of War Child Canada, one of the many organizations the married couple has embraced. They have visited Iraq, Ethiopia and the Congo on behalf of various causes, including women’s rights, war refugees and child education. Maida launched War Child’s Busking for Change program, in which Canadian musicians have raised money for children in the world’s most devastated regions, supporting initiatives such as the construction of schools in the Congo. Maida also took part in War Child’s assessment trip of Darfur, which laid the groundwork for the organization’s program in that region.
The couple has recorded contributions for multiple benefit albums for War Child. In 2010, Kreviazuk contributed the song “Na Miso” to the Enough Project (which seeks to end genocide and war crimes) and Downtown Records Raise Hope for Congo. Proceeds from the compilation helped fund women’s rights efforts in Congo, and promoted the cause of peace in that country.
Kreviazuk says being able to serve is the greatest gift and the most rewarding part of being an artist. Her work with NGO’s and charitable foundations has focused on causes close to her heart, including women’s rights, child poverty and education, aboriginal rights, addiction and mental illness. Kreviazuk and Maida were awarded the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award at Canadian Music Week in 2012 for their community and charitable work.
The duo’s advocacy work spans a wide breadth of causes. Kreviazuk has worked to eliminate the stigma of mental illness alongside the Canadian Mental Health Association; joined forces with Polar Bears International to protect the species’ habitat and address the impact of climate change; fundraised in support of B.C.’s Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community, which offers a groundbreaking model for men battling addiction; and has been an advocate and donor on behalf of The Opportunity Fund, created by Lloyd Axworthy, which raises education funding for disadvantaged kids. Maida has also been a voice for democratic participation, supporting Apathy is Boring, which encourages youth to take interest in their communities and participate in the political process. Other organizations and institutions the couple has worked with include The Hospital for Sick Children, The Children’s Hospital Winnipeg and Canuck House Vancouver (a palliative home for children and their families).
“Chantal and Raine are more than deserving recipients for this year’s award,” said Melanie Berry, President & CEO of CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts. “Their passion and dedication to countless charities and organizations over the course of their careers is truly remarkable.”
“Bell Media congratulates Chantal and Raine on their devotion to causes which effect change both at home and around the world,” said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. “We are proud to honour them with The Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, and salute the example they set for all Canadians.”
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