The Tragically Hip to receive Humanitarian Award at 2021 JUNOs

By Heather Cichowski and Zach Harper

The Tragically Hip are beloved by people across the country and seen by many as the quintessential Canadian band.

Not only have they contributed to Canada's arts and culture, but the band has also given back through the decades, and they'll be recognized for that when they receive the Humanitarian Award at the 2021 JUNOs during the ceremony's broadcast on May 16. Guitarists Rob Baker and Paul Langlois, drummer Johnny Fay and bassist Gord Sinclair will receive the special tribute. It's not known whether a representative from Gord Downie's family will attend on the late singer's behalf.

"We are honoured to present The Tragically Hip with this year's Humanitarian Award," CARAS/The Juno Awards & MusiCounts' President and CEO Allan Reid said in a statement.

The Tragically Hip in March 1990 including (clockwise) Gordon Downie, Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Gord Sinclair and Paul Langlois at the Metro in Chicago. Photo: © Paul Natkin/Getty Images

"For decades, this group of musical brothers has contributed to helping improve the social well-being of others and protecting the vast natural wonders of this country we call home."

The message also addressed the impact of COVID-19 and the band's "tireless activism and achievements."

On Instagram, the band said they were honoured to receive the award.

"It's about building community, and no one appreciated that responsibility more than Gord Downie," they wrote. "He was committed to social and environmental justice and we remain inspired by his example."

"Best intentions can achieve little without loyal support and action, so we consider this award as much a recognition for fans of our group, as they have been there for us through everything, and for every cause, and for that we are eternally grateful. We share this honour with you."

The band are known for their support of War Child Canada, for which they staged a special benefit concert in Winnipeg in 2000. They also created The Tragically Hip Community Fund in 2004 to provide support to local charities of their hometown. They also participated in a benefit concert to raise money for Haitian earthquake relief in 2010. The Kingston, Ont.-based band's final Canadian tour helped raise more than $1 million for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Sunnybrook Foundation.

Previous artists who have been honoured with the Humanitarian Award at the JUNOS include Sarah McLachlan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rush and Arcade Fire.

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