August 15, 2016
Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) is a pretty low-key guy for a pop star. Despite his massive 2015 year, the Toronto R&B singer has been quite protective of his private life and does interviews sparingly, much to the chagrin of many a member of the Canadian media. Basically, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear about Tesfaye unless it’s something that has to do with the actual business of making music, putting it out, or playing it. But this past week, he’s made the news a couple times for some very generous donations.
First, he donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto to help start an Ethiopic Studies program. The Toronto Star reports that the Bikila Award organization reached out to Tesfaye, who’s from the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, looking for some help when U of T professor Michael Gervers (Department of Historical and Cultural Studies) pledged to donate his own $50,000 if the Ethiopian Community and the university could match it. In 2014, Tesfaye actually received the Professional Excellence Award from Bikila Award.
The second came just a few days later when Tesfaye donated a whopping $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network, which contains a chapter that’s based in Toronto. In July, Tesfaye tweeted in solidarity with the movement soon after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
In Other News:
- Toronto Mayor John Tory proclaimed August 10 as The Tragically Hip Day. Speaking of—don’t forget this Saturday, August 20th marks the final night of the Man Machine Poem tour in Kingston, and CBC will be broadcasting it live.
- Hayden’s Dream Serenade Benefit gets a stacked lineup.
- Secret City celebrates a decade of existence with new compilation.
- Penny Oleksiak, 16-year-old Olympic swimming phenom, got some Drake tickets.
- The Polaris Music Prize covers EP is now available at select record shops cross-country.