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Lightfoot, Robertson And Slaight To Be Honored At CMW

(CelebityAccess MediaWire) —
Gordon Lightfoot, Brian Robertson and Gary Slaight have been named 2005 Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame inductees. "Gordon Lightfoot is a huge inspiration to millions of people, both as an artist and as a phenomenal human being," said Neill Dixon, president of Canadian Music Week "His strength is awe-inspiring."

Lightfoot has garnered five Grammy nominations and 17 Juno Awards. He received the prestigious Order of Canada citation in November 1997 and was presented the Governor General's Award–the highest official Canadian honor, which is conferred on very few – for international efforts in spreading Canadian culture. Gordon was also honored as a charter member of Canada's Walk of Fame and recently was elevated to the "companion" of the Order of Canada (highest level) in December of 2003. He was also inducted into The Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame earlier this year. Artists who have recorded Lightfoot's songs include Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Sarah McLachlan, Barbra Streisand, Peter Paul & Mary, Harry Belafonte, Jane's Addiction, Richie Havens, Glen Campbell, Anne Murray, Nana Mouskouri and George Hamilton IV.

Lightfoot's induction will take place during the 8th Annual Canadian Radio Music Awards on March 5 as part of Canadian Music Week. The event will feature an all-star musical tribute to Lightfoot's work.

Noted as one of the most highly respected figures in the Canadian music industry, Robertson recently announced that he will soon be stepping down as president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) after 30 years. In this role, Robertson serves as the principal spokesperson for the Canadian recording industry. He will remain with CRIA as chairman emeritus in a consulting capacity. Robertson has been a passionate advocate of Canadian artists and music and was the driving force in founding and heading a number of national cultural and other organizations including the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), the AV Preservation Trust, the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation and the Audio-Video Licensing Agency (AVLA). Robertson is currently a governor of the Corporation of Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall, a member of the Dean's Committee at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music and honorary chair of the Regent Park Inner City Music School.

"Brian Robertson will be greatly missed as President of CRIA," said Dixon. "He's highly regarded as a true leader within the industry and is an obvious choice for a Hall of Fame inductee."

"This is certainly a momentous mark to the conclusion of my role as CRIA President," said Robertson. "I'm very touched and honored."

Slaight is widely regarded as a trailblazer in Canada's broadcasting industry. Slaight is president and chief executive officer of the largest privately owned multi-media company in Canada, Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited which includes, besides broadcasting, a retail marketing services company. Standard Broadcasting Corporation now has 51 radio stations and two television stations across the country. It has a 40% equity interest in Sirius Canada, Inc.; 30% in each of Milestone Radio Inc. and The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.; 25% in Martz Communications Group, LLC, a U.S. broadcaster; and 24% in 3937844 Canada Inc. which holds 19 licenses in rural Alberta and Calgary. In addition, it has minority interest in Maplecore Ltd., Milestone Media Broadcasting (Edmonton) Ltd., and Puretracks/Moontaxi.

"Gary Slaight is known for being a visionary figure in his field." said Dixon. "He goes beyond his role as a top-level executive, and works hard to nurture the industry at a grass-roots level. He's a real powerhouse."

Slaight is actively involved in the industry and is a staunch supporter of Canadian music talent. Not only did he create the National Songwriting Competition and the Homegrown Contest, which are still running on radio stations across Canada, but he also created the Canadian Radio Music Awards. He was named Broadcast Executive of the Year in 1992, 1993, 1996 and 1998. He is currently on the board of directors of the Canadian Music Council, Sick Children's Hospital Foundation, Gilda's Club, Toronto's Walk of Fame, CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), Moontaxi and Maplemusic. He is also on the United Way Leadership Giving Committee.

"It's a huge honur to be inducted," said Slaight. "It's quite a compliment to be put in the company of so many great inductees before me."

Roberts and Slaight will be inducted at the Canadian Music Industry Awards on March 3 as part of Canadian Music Week. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner