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2012 Allan Slaight Award Recipient Announced

August 14, 2012



(Toronto, Ontario) August 14, 2012 – Canada’s Walk of Fame in partnership with RBC announced today that JUNO and Grammy Award-winning R&B artist Melanie Fiona is the recipient of this year’s Allan Slaight Award. In its third year, the Allan Slaight Award is presented to a young Canadian making a positive impact in the fields of music, film, literature, visual or performing arts, sports, innovation or philanthropy. The award is accompanied by a $10,000 honourarium and will be presented during the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards on Global and Slice™ (date TBC).

“This award is a true honour and I am so appreciative to Canada’s Walk of Fame and The Slaight Family Foundation for this opportunity. Everywhere I travel I hold Canada on my sleeve and in my heart. I am grateful to be acknowledged in my country,” said Fiona.

“Melanie Fiona has shown exemplary talent, commitment and passion for music. Her recent success, perseverance and rise to the top is an inspiration for our youth to follow, and we are pleased to recognize her as a young Canadian making a remarkable impact,” said Peter Soumalias, President and Founding Director, Canada’s Walk of Fame.

“My father launched the careers of many emerging Canadian artists and this award honours his legacy. Melanie Fiona’s powerful voice and sheer talent guarantee her a promising future and we are thrilled to acknowledge her this year. Our two previous recipients, Drake and Nikki Yanofsky, are both international successes and Melanie Fiona is no exception. Clearly the sky is the limit for her,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO, Slaight Communications.

Melanie’s sophomore album The MF Life was released in February 2012 on the heels of her two Grammy Award wins for Best R&B Song and Best Traditional R&B Performance for her collaboration with Cee Lo Green on “Fool For You.” 

The album hit at #1 on the Billboard Hip Hop & R&B Chart garnering rave reviews across the board receiving an “A-” rating from Entertainment Weekly while the LA Times stated “Fiona’s voice is fantastic throughout.” Even Maxim and Marie Claire declared “She’s back,” and Billboard Magazine remarked “ Fiona is singing up a storm, delivering a welcomed big voice to perhaps fill in the void of recent departures like Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse.”

Since Fiona’s debut album The Bridge debuted in 2009, this Toronto-native and Universal Music recording artist has emerged as one of this country’s finest new breakout stars, known for her emotional storytelling and commanding voice. The ballad “It Kills Me” off her debut album topped Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for nine weeks straight and earned Fiona her very first Grammy nomination in 2010 for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance. Fiona is recognized for her unique ability to blend classic R&B/soul influences with a hip-hop edge, resulting in an entirely fresh sound, which has led her to tour with megastars such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and now Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo on the “Liberation Tour” this August and September.

About Allan Slaight

A leading figure in the Canadian broadcasting industry for more than five decades, Allan Slaight is widely acknowledged to be the pioneer of Top 40 Radio in Canada. In 1977, he launched Q107, which was responsible for establishing dozens of Canadian artists through the ‘70s and ‘80s.

In 1985, he established Slaight Communications and acquired Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., the largest privately owned multi-media company in Canada with 51 radio stations and two television stations across the country plus a retail marketing services company in 1985. Slaight was the sole owner of the corporation until 2007 when he sold the radio and broadcasting rights to Astral Media.

As one of Canada’s leading philanthropists, Allan Slaight holds a strong belief in Canadian culture. He has provided significant support to many of Canada’s leading cultural institutions including the newly renovated AGO, and the new home of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Allan Slaight is a longtime supporter of the Shaw and Stratford Festivals and through the Slaight Family Foundation has extended his support to small, aspiring arts organizations that cater to disadvantaged youth. Slaight Family support has helped trail blaze new cures in cancer and brain research and helped many social service agencies improve the lives of those less fortunate.

A pioneer of rock and roll, Slaight is an inductee of the Broadcast Hall of Fame (1997), the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Ryerson Polytechnic University (2000), was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada (2001), and was the recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award (2005) for his contribution to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry.

About RBC and the Arts

RBC sponsors a wide-range of grassroots and local initiatives that contribute to the cultural fabric of our communities. Proud to support events and passions that resonate with our clients, RBC provides opportunities for up-and-coming artists through programs such as the RBC Canadian Painting Competition; the RBC Emerging Visions Program; and the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition, part of our commitment to the world’s top public film festival – the Toronto International Film Festival®. As one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies and among the largest banks in the world, as measured by market capitalization, RBC employs approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

About Canada’s Walk of Fame

Established in 1998, Canada’s Walk of Fame (CWOF) aims to educate, inform and inspire through the permanent celebration of achievements in Canadian music, sport, film and television as well as the literary, visual and performing arts, and science and innovation. In 2010, CWOF expanded to include a festival of music, comedy and film featuring some of Canada’s most popular and iconic performers. The annual celebration culminates in a televised awards special that honours Canada’s finest stars from the world of arts, entertainment and sports. Each inductee is immortalized, their names forever cemented into the sidewalks of Toronto’s Entertainment District. For a complete list of inductees to date along with more information on Canada’s Walk of Fame visit:www.canadaswalkoffame.com.

Media Contact for Canada’s Walk of Fame
Vanessa Andres
Holmes Creative Communications
t: 416-628-5612; e: vandres@hccink.com www.hccink.com

Adrienne Kakoullis
Holmes Creative Communications
t: 416-628-5610; e: akakoullis@hccink.com www.hccink.com

Media Contact for RBC
Jackie Braden
t: 416-974-1274; e: jackie.braden@rbc.com

For Melanie Fiona:
Sherlen Archibald
The Chamber Group
t: 212-366-5801; e: Sherlen@thechambergroup.com