Rush were among the honorees at the 20th Anniversary Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala in Ottawa this weekend.
Canada’s capital played host to the annual event, which recognizes artists for their outstanding body of work and enduring contribution to the performing arts in Canada.
The Ottawa Citizen reports South Park co-creator Matt Stone took to the stage to recognize Rush members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. Stone grew up in Littleton, Col. idolizing the rock band from “this far off land called Canada.”
“I remember buying their cassettes, tearing home on my BMX, running inside and throwing them into my Walkman, and sitting down to my drum set and just destroying my mom’s afternoon,” Stone recalled. “Rush was definitely the first band I ever loved.”
A boys choir delivered a version of “The Spirit Of Radio,” while the National Arts Centre Orchestra performed “Tom Sayer.” (see video below)
Rush’s "Clockwork Angels," the band's 20th studio album, will be released on June 12th. The project's lead single, "Headlong Flight," is out now.
Each artist honored receives a cash award of $25,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a commemorative medallion struck by the Royal Canadian Mint.
A surprise guest at Saturday’s gala was Who guitarist Pete Townshend, on hand to join honoree Des McAnuff; the two worked together on The Who’s 1992 rock musical, "Tommy."
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