L-R: Jodie Ferneyhough, Kathryn Hummel Brezynskie, Amanda Power, Sheila Hamilton, and Derrick Ross
L-R: Jodie Ferneyhough, Kathryn Hummel Brezynskie, Amanda Power, Sheila Hamilton, and Derrick Ross

Slaight Family Gifts $10M To the Unison Fund, With New Money For Retirees

The Slaight Family Foundation has donated $10-million to Canada’s music industry aid org, the Unison Fund.

The Slaight Family Foundation, a prominent Canadian private foundation that supports a wide variety of humanitarian and cultural causes, will disperse the funds over the next five years to the existing Unison Industry Assistance Program, and a newly announced Slaight Family Foundation Legacy Program that is uniquely designed to offer financial support to retired individuals in the music community and/or those that experience long-term medical challenges.

The existing Unison program has been in operation since 2015, providing over $8,000,000 in financial aid to over 5,000 Canadian music workers. In the past several years, the charitable fund has been deluged with calls for assistance from industry participants sidelined by the pandemic, so the new guaranteed five-year infusion of money will take a lot of stress off the organization.

Slaight Family Foundation President and CEO Gary Slaight stated as per the announcement: “We are thrilled to support the great efforts of The Unison Fund (as the) last few years have been especially tough for the Canadian music industry–and our goal with this donation and the creation of the new Legacy program is to help those who have fallen on tough times get back on their feet. We look forward to working closely with Unison as we join efforts to strengthen, support, and sustain the Canadian music community.” 

The Slaight Family Foundation Legacy Program will serve to support an aging population in the music industry, recognizing that many retired individuals in the community are under a continued financial strain, and face unique social and personal challenges. The breakthrough National program, to be implemented in 2023, will allow for music industry veterans and legacy artists “to live out their golden years with dignity, independence and peace of mind knowing there is access to financial assistance.”

Alternately, the Unison Industry Assistance Program is designed to provide financial support to Canadian music-makers recovering from an illness, injury or other circumstances that result in an inability to work or are facing severe economic or personal hardship.

Unison Executive Director Amanda Powers added her own exclamation of appreciation, stating that “We are eternally grateful for the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation. Their ongoing investment into the future and legacy of the Canadian music industry has been a critical safety net, helping us to continue to provide financial assistance and services to those in need.”

Earlier in the month, The Unison Fund was the honoured recipient of the Gary Slaight Music Humanitarian Award, recognized by the industry for their tireless contributions to the Canadian music community. The prestigious award was given out at the CCMA Music Industry Gala Dinner & Awards as part of the 2022 Canadian Country Music Association Awards weekend in Calgary.

Pictured left-right:  Unison Fund co-founder Jodie Ferneyhough, Unison programs & services manager Jodie Ferneyhough, Kathryn Hummel Brezynskie, Amanda Power, Sheila Hamilton, and Derrick Ross. ED Amanda Power, former ED Sheila Hamilton, and Slaight Music president Derrick Ross.

About The Unison Fund

The Unison Fund, Canada's music industry charity, provides counselling and financial relief services to the Canadian music community in times of hardship or difficulties. For over a decade, Unison has been committed to helping producers, engineers, singers/songwriters, musicians, production crews, and thousands more through our financial assistance and counselling and health solutions programs. For more information or to donate, visit: www.unisonfund.ca. Every donation counts.  Every donation helps.  Let's keep Canadian music and entertainment ALIVE.


About The Slaight Family Foundation

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight (1931-2021), known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, was a leader in the music industry and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth international development, social services and culture. Allan’s son, Gary Slaight, oversees the foundation as President & CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. 

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