You may have heard of Simple Plan: the pop-punk guys from Montréal, Que., who have been nominated for eight Juno Awards, won the Fan Choice Award in 2006 and just finished touring their 2011 album, "Get Your Heart On."
What you might not know, is that aside from being talented musicians, they are also generous philanthropists dedicated to helping children in need. By creating the Simple Plan Foundation, the band is able to connect with their fans and assist in situations of depression, poverty, illness and the effects of war.
At this year's Juno Gala Dinner and Awards on March 31, the band will receive the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award to honour their charitable efforts. Named after the founder of CHUM Limited and a trailblazer in the world of broadcasting, this award "recognizes an outstanding Canadian artist whose humanitarian contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada."
The connection Simple Plan has with their fans was a major contributing factor in the creation of their foundation and something the members cherish. "After reading thousands of letters and e-mails from our fans and talking to them at our shows, we know very well how tough life can be for kids growing up," the band said on the foundation's website. "It breaks our hearts to see so many young people fighting to survive while feeling depressed and lost. We want our foundation to help them find their way and show them that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel, that things can get better."
Upon hearing the news, drummer Chuck Comeau commented, "To be recognized by CARAS and the JUNO Awards is a true honour for us." He also expressed the band's passion for their charitable efforts, saying, "We are very proud of all of our Foundation's initiatives — they have helped to define us as a band and have become a large part of who we are."
The Simple Plan Foundation raises money by hosting benefit concerts and donating portions of ticket sales and merchandise to their network of charities including: War Child Canada, Kids Help Phone, the Montréal Children's Hospital and many more. They have also participated in charitable song efforts like Young Artists For Haiti's "Wavin' Flag" and donating the net proceeds of their single, "Save You," to cancer charities around the world. This year, their donations to date will total $1 million with no signs of stopping.
They join past winners including Neil Young, Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan, as Canadian musicians who have positively impacted Canada through their ongoing commitment to philanthropy.
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