Rush Receives Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at Junos


2015 JUNO AwardsRush received the 2015 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the Junos in Hamilton, Ontario this past weekend and Geddy Lee humbly accepted the award on behalf of the band.

“It’s one thing to be honoured with an award that celebrates an achievement in one’s work, as you can justify the slight embarrassment of its acceptance with the knowledge that it’s something you have spent your entire life perfecting,” said Lee, “but it’s quite another kind of thing to accept an honour for doing something that SHOULD be a natural part of how we all decide to run our lives, and that is the helping of others that are less fortunate than ourselves.”

In taped acceptance speeches, Alex Lifeson thanked CARAS for the honour and added,

“The Allan Waters Humanitarian award is very special to us, it’s always very humbling to receive an award like this, but this is just something that you’re supposed to do.”

While drummer Neil Peart commented,

“It is both gratifying and humbling to be recognized in this way, because in one way I tend to think, well, why should you get an award for just doing what’s right? But on the other hand, we’ve tried to do that for so long and as widely as we can, that it sets a good example for others. And that’s one reason why I’m glad for an activist career like ours to be recognized, because hopefully we can encourage other people to take the same sort of generous and philanthropic approach to life around them. I’ve always liked the saying ‘if you do well, try to do good’ and I’ve lived that way with causes both large and small. Traveling has done a lot to broaden my impression and sensitivity of the world, my understanding of places like Africa and China, and what they really need, and how we can best help them. But that also comes down to the homeless person on the corner, they can’t help the condition they’re in and they could really use the help. So I think generosity is a part of life for me, and a sense of responsibility that because I’ve done well, I try to do good.”

Canadian broadcast host and longtime industry friend Denise Donlon inducted the band along with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“Rush’s lasting legacy will be even bigger than career success,” said Donlon, “Geddy, Neil and Alex are 3 big hearted guys who use their powers for good, and their selfless generosity has touched millions of lives.”

Mayor Nenshi added that he saw that first hand with the Alberta flood of 2013, which was the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history.

“While there was untold destruction to both public and private property,” he said, “what I’ll remember forever was the deep, deep compassion shown by thousands upon thousands of citizens to help their neighbours in times of need–the exact same spirit shown by Rush. They rescheduled their show as a benefit, donating their fee and paid their own expenses, rallied with their promoter Live Nation and the venue, to create an all-hands-on-deck situation in order to raise as much money as possible for those in need. That one event raised over half a million dollars.”

“My parents were always very, very generous. They couldn’t afford much, but they were always very generous,” said Lifeson to the Toronto Sun. “I learned very early that it feels really good to help somebody else. A lot of times it feels better than getting help yourself and now that we’re in a position to do something and have been for awhile, it only makes sense. It’s a duty, really, that we all have to help the less fortunate.”

Read an article on the event in The Hamilton Spectator.

Watch Geddy Lee speak to JunosTV and SiriusXM backstage from the Junos.

Rush also thanks Second Harvest for their congratulatory post on the award. Learn more about the charity Second Harvest that Rush has supported for more than 25 years. Rush has donated and supported many causes through their career including: Doctors Without Borders, AmFar, Grapes for Humanity Canada, The Kidney Foundation, Casey House, The United Way, Little Kids Rock, Child Advocates, Make It Right Foundation, The Canadian Museum for Human RightsNegro Leagues Baseball Museum. We encourage everyone to help in whatever way they can, by donating or volunteering your time!