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The Weeknd Receives 2022 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Award For Social Activism

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The Weeknd was named the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award this week in honor of the singer’s longstanding commitment to charitable causes. “That this is a Canadian award sits deep with me. Allan and The Slaight Family Foundation are known across the country for their generous philanthropy, and it means a lot to be acknowledged, and is an honor to be recognized along with the legendary Canadian artists who received this award before me,” said the artist born Abel Tesfaye.

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The award is presented annually to a Canadian artist, duo or group in recognition of their social activism and benevolent support of humanitarian interests and causes,” according to a release from the organization. The Slaight Family Foundation will make a $50,000 donation to the charity of Tesfaye’s choosing as part of his honor.

“The global success of Abel ‘the Weeknd’ Tesfaye makes every Canadian proud. What Abel has done with his success is something that we can be doubly proud of–and this is to improve the lives of people in need, in Canada and around the world. His altruism, in a word, is exemplary,” said Gary Slaight, President/ CEO of the Slaight Family Foundation in a statement.

“Throughout his professional life, my father, Allan Slaight, made it a family mission to ensure our financial accomplishments were used to improve our community and beyond. Abel’s support of organizations, foundations and initiatives working to make the world a better place aligns with my father’s desire to do the same,” he continued. “In recognition of his philanthropy, Abel Tesfaye is admirably deserving of the 2022 CMW Allan Slaight Humanitarian Award and on behalf of myself and our family we honor him for his charitableness, humanness and unspoken kindnesses.”

The Weeknd is the first musician to receive both the organization’s Humanitarian Spirit Award and the Allan Slaight Impact Award, with the latter presented to the singer during his 2014 Canadian Walk of Fame ceremony; the Impact Award is for a musician, duo or group who make a “positive impact with their talent and benevolence in the field of music.”

Over the past several years, The Weeknd has donated more than $8.3 million to a variety of causes, from funding a new Ethiopian studies program at the University of Toronto, to $50,000 to the St Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Toronto he attended as a child and $100,000 to the Suubi Health Center, a maternity and children’s medical facility in Uganda, as well as large donations to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the Equal Justice Initiative and the United Nations World Food Programme.

The Slaigh honor is presented in conjunction with Canadian Music Week and that organization’s president, Neill Dixon, said in a statement, “With great popularity comes great responsibility, as far as the Weeknd is concerned. When he ruled the stage at the Super Bowl half-time show, he didn’t simply represent proud Canadians in front of a global audience, he was a true citizen of the world. And he lives that role offstage as well, with philanthropic activities almost too numerous to count. Social issues, humanitarian relief, food security, cultural and language preservation. It takes a person of principle to see the big global picture and imagine numerous ways they can pay their blessings forward and create change.”

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