Arcade Fire are set to receive the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the JUNOS this weekend. With 11 previous nominations and six wins, Montreal’s biggest band are no strangers to Canada’s biggest music night. What many aren’t familiar with, however, is the band’s incredible history of being super charitable. Of course, like true Canadians, they’re humble as ever, which is why their good deeds aren’t always plastered in the news.
Not to worry though, we’ll get you up to speed before they take the stage for their acceptance speech.
While the band doesn’t discriminate between charitable causes, there is one that is especially close to their heart, and that’s helping the people of Haiti. They’ve traveled to the country several times to lend a hand and a voice to the cause. In 2006 they started donating $1 of every concert ticket sold to an organization called Partners in Health, which provides high-quality healthcare to those in need in the poverty-stricken country. The band also partnered with KANPE (and organization co-founded by band member Régine Chassagne herself, by the way), which helps families achieve financial independence, and Artists Institute which is a free arts and technology college.
Amazing, right? Well, it gets even better.
On one of their visits to Haiti, front man Win Butler noticed that the soil and climate would be perfect for growing coffee beans. So, rather than starting up what could be an incredibly lucrative venture for himself, he reached out to La Colombe Coffee to help produce a new coffee made in Haiti for Haiti. All of the profits from this endeavour go right back into supporting the locals. Have we mentioned the word selfless yet? Because, we really can’t think of a better descriptor.
Hold on, ’cause there’s more
In yet another generous move, Arcade Fire and Partners In Heath joined in 2014 to create a charitable organization called Plus One, which allows artists and fans to directly connect with a variety of causes to foster action around the world. Thanks to this move, there are now a number of other bands that have also signed on to donate $1 of each ticket sale to partner charities.
In total, the band has raised and donated more than four-million dollars so far, which is absolutely incredible, but also makes us think the rest of us Canadians should step up our game. (Thanks for making us feel bad, Arcade Fire!) But really, thanks for being you, because we didn’t realize we could love you this much more.