#SPOTTED: BILLY TALENT RECEIVE LEGENDS OF LIVE AWARD AT CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK AND ANNOUNCE LAUNCH OF BILLY TALENT CHARITY TRUST
By Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Canadian Music Week is a celebration of some of the best Canada has to offer to the music scene. Earlier today El Mocambo presented the 2018 Live Music Industry Awards and awarded the coveted Legends of Live Award to Mississauga’s own Billy Talent. Celebrated Canadian Paul Shaffer was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Winner of the Medium Festival of the Year 6001-15000 Person Capacity was Toronto’s very own, FIELD TRIP. Major Festival of the Year presented by Sirius XM was awarded to Osheaga Festival. The Licensed to Play Award presented by SOCAN, was presented to historic Queen Street haunt Cameron House. Lastly, the Canadian Music City of the Year Award went to Toronto, as Shaffer said, “it is the mecca of live music”, solidifying further how Toronto is deserving of the Award.
With supporting talent Death Valley Girls and Starcrawler, Billy Talent put on an incredible show performing hit Rusted from the Rain with Aaron Solowoniuk on drums playing through his MS, and Jordan Hastings joining the band to play Try Honesty.
Billy Talent took the stage to accept the Legends of Live Award. Lead Singer/Frontman Ben Kowalewicz spoke about their beginnings, and about Bassist Jon Gallant’s recent trip to his sister’s basement where they found a baggie containing a write-up of their first band, Pezz, and what their goals were going forward and how they were honoured to be playing Canadian Music Week (back in 1996). This led to a speech about how far they have come and how truly honoured they are to receive the Award. Last year’s winner was The Tragically Hip.
In addition to five JUNOs and multi-Platinum-selling Discs, Billy Talent, the year marks their 25th anniversary and also marks the launch of their charity fund, called the Billy Talent Charity Trust. This trust will be donating money to a variety of charities that the band as a collective support, such as the MS Society of Canada and MusiCounts. The trust is headed by Solowoniuk.
Lastly, the band has launched a very limited edition plaque that features the artwork from all their albums, singles, and live album accompanied by a gold record and a photograph of the band, signed by the band. These are on–sale until May 21st, more information on the plaque can be found here: http://billytalentplaques.com and more information on the charity trust can be found here: https://www.billytalentcharitytrust.com/
(Photo credit: Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong)