Radio pioneer Allan Slaight gets special Juno

Allan Slaight, a pioneer in Canadian radio, will receive a special Juno Award this year.

Radio pioneer Allan Slaight has been named the recipient of this year's Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, given out by the organizers of the Junos.

The award is given annually to an individual who has helped to nurture the development of Canada's music industry.

Currently the executive chairman of Standard Broadcasting, Slaight is considered a pivotal figure in the history of Canadian radio.

The choice of Slaight was lauded by music veterans, including his good friend Gordon Lightfoot.

"Before we had any Canadian-content rules, Allan went to bat for Canadian artists," the singer said.

"He spent a lifetime working ... to help Canadian music and make it better," added 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."

Slaight's son, Gary, is now president and CEO of Standard, the largest privately owned multimedia company in Canada.

The elder Slaight was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1997 and became a member of the Order of Canada in 2001.

He will receive his Juno at the Juno gala dinner in Winnipeg on April 2. The Juno Awards will be broadcast the following night on CTV.

Given out by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Junos honour the best in Canadian music.