A leading figure in the Canadian broadcasting industry for more than five decades, Allan Slaight began his career in the late 1940s as a news reporter/announcer in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Over the next decade, Slaight held announcing and news positions at various radio stations in Edmonton, Alberta.
In 1956, Slaight landed the General Sales Manager position at CHED radio station in Edmonton and two years later became Program Director of CHUM Radio in Toronto, and later, Vice President and General Manager in 1965. He is widely acknowledged to be the pioneer of Top 40 Radio in Canada. In 1977, he launched Q107, which was responsible for establishing dozens of Canadian artists through the ‘70s and ‘80s.
In 1985, he established Slaight Communications and acquired Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., the largest privately owned multi-media company in Canada with 51 radio stations and two television stations across the country plus a retail marketing services company in 1985. Slaight was the sole owner of the corporation until 2007 when he sold the radio and broadcasting rights to Astral Media.
As one of Canada’s leading philanthropists, Allan Slaight held a strong belief in Canadian culture. He provided significant support to many of Canada’s leading cultural institutions including the AGO, and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Allan Slaight was a longtime supporter of the Shaw and Stratford Festivals and through The Slaight Family Foundation extended his support to small, aspiring arts organizations that cater to disadvantaged youth. Slaight Family support has helped trail blaze new cures in cancer and brain research and helped many social service agencies improve the lives of those less fortunate. Allan also contributed his own skills and expertise by serving on many charitable boards in the past including: Women’s College Hospital, the United Way of Greater Toronto, the Shaw Festival, York University and a former director of the TIFF. He was also instrumental in bringing the Toronto Raptors to Toronto and developing the Air Canada Centre.
A pioneer of rock and roll, Slaight is an inductee of the Broadcast Hall of Fame (1997), the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Ryerson Polytechnic University (2000), was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada (2001), and was the recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award (2005) for his contribution to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry.