Rush, the Canadian rock n' roll band from Southern Ontario known for such hits as "Tom Sawyer," "Spirit of Radio," and "Closer to the Heart," has received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, it was announced from Calgary on Tuesday.
The trio is one of six winners to be honoured. Each laureate receives a cash prize of $25,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a commemorative medallion struck by the Royal Canadian Mint. Awards were announced by co-chair Douglas Knight and Diana LeBlanc in a ceremony at the 100-year-old Theatre Junction Grand.
"Our artists are arguably our most valuable export," Knight said to the Calgary Herald. In recognition of that, Knight said, "We want to rebrand Canada as Arts Nation." The winners were selected by peer juries from more than 300 nominations made by the general public over the past year.
Rush hit the music scene back in 1968 and have today sold more than 40 million albums across the globe. They wrapped up their most recent Time Machine Tour in June of last year and are expected to release their next studio album "Clockwork Angels" this coming spring. Despite the fact that they have been overlooked in terms of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (fans have petitioned having them added year after year), Rush was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. They've also won slews of Junos and they have been nominated for Grammy Awards seven times.
Rush will be honoured at a gala ceremony on May 5 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.