Today, MusiCounts announced Gary Slaight, President and CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation, as the 2021 recipient of the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award, presented by The Canadian Scholarship Trust (CST) Foundation. Gary is being recognized for the extraordinary philanthropic contributions he has made to music education in Canada. To amplify Gary’s efforts, $30,000 worth of MusiCounts Band Aid Program instrument grants will be awarded to three Canadian schools in his name.
“Our family has always been involved and supported the creative arts and believe music education in schools is as essential to the healthy development of kids as fresh air and water. MusiCounts does a fantastic job in providing the tools to help and develop these impressionable minds through music,” said Gary Slaight. “Playing an instrument and bonding with other kids of a similar age helps build character and nurture creativity. Now with issues around the covid-19 pandemic and learning from home, music is more valuable and provides the kids an outlet to express themselves and connect beyond the virtual world.”
Over the past 10 years, Gary Slaight and the Slaight Family Foundation have donated over $750,000 to MusiCounts to support over 55 schools in the Greater Toronto Area and First Nations communities. Through the Slaight Family Foundation, he has supported a variety of humanitarian and cultural causes, and continues to invest in media and entertainment ventures, through both Slaight Communications and Slaight Music, a division launched in 2009 with a mandate to invest, nurture, and develop Canadian artists.
“MusiCounts is honoured to recognize Gary Slaight’s tremendous impact on music education in Canada with this award,” said Kristy Fletcher, Executive Director of MusiCounts. “The Slaight name is virtually synonymous with support for young Canadian musicians, and MusiCounts is grateful to be trusted to enact this philanthropic mission in partnership with the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation.”
“We are excited to present this award alongside MusiCounts to Gary Slaight. He has shown a tremendous commitment to giving back to the community and providing access to education,” said Peter Lewis, Vice President of CST Foundation. “For 60 years, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation has focused on helping to make education possible. We are pleased to acknowledge Gary’s advocacy, which empowers and encourages young Canadians to believe in their dreams.”
The MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award recognizes an individual who has had an extraordinary impact on education and the charity over the course of its history. Each Award Recipient receives a JUNO statuette.