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Radio pioneer Allan Slaight to be honoured

Allan Slaight, executive chairman of Standard Broadcasting Corp. and widely considered a trailblazer in Canadian radio, has been named the 2005 winner of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award.

The award, given to individuals who have contributed to the development of the Canadian music industry, will be presented April 2 by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at the annual Juno gala awards dinner in Winnipeg.

"He spent a lifetime working . . . to help Canadian music and make it better," said rock legend Ronnie Hawkins. "Everyone in music in Canada owes Al Slaight, especially me. He and his associates started pushing rock 'n' roll before anybody else in Canada."

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Gordon Lightfoot also called Slaight a good friend.

"Before we had any Canadian content rules, Allan went to bat for Canadian artists," Lightfoot noted.

Slaight, whose son Gary is now president and CEO of Standard, the largest privately owned multimedia company in Canada, was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1997 and was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2001.

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