World AIDS Day Concert December 1
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Annual community concert on World AIDS Day (Monday, December 1, 2014) raised awareness and over $70,000 in vital funds for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Toronto once again rallied in support of compassionate HIV/AIDS care, with hundreds attending a beautiful concert at Metropolitan United Church on World AIDS Day December 1. The concert raised over $70,000 for care and services at Casey House, Toronto’s dedicated centre for HIV/AIDS health care.
Hosted by founding co-chair Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea and media personality Shaun Proulx, the concert featured stellar music performances as well as readings by clients of Casey House, and a display of art created through the donor-funded Recreational Therapy program at Casey House.
Attendees raved about the fabulous performer lineup, produced by Briane Nasimok and Lesley Ballantyne of Herculean Productions. The King of the Monologue Gavin Crawford was joined by the Queen of the Songologue Sharron Matthews for a hilarious number, and 13-year old Avery Raquel wowed the audience by seemingly channeling all of the great jazz divas through her small body and immense soul. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Dillan Chiblow sang “Lost in the Waves,” and he was later joined by surprise guest Cathy Elliott as they sang from her play “The Talking Stick.” The wonderful Dyna Thirst belted out Sondheim’s “No One Is Alone,” and the fabulous Jordan Klapman did quadruple-duty as Musical Director, accompanying the performers, as well as playing jazz interludes before and after the show. At the evening’s conclusion, Avery Raquel was joined by the Oasis Vocal Jazz choir as they walked the audience out of the church in the midst of song.
After the concert, guests mingled in front of the church over hot cider and cookies. They lit candles in memory of the many beautiful lives that have been ended too soon by HIV/AIDS, and in support of the many people in Toronto and around the world who continue to struggle with this very difficult disease.
Voices of Hope was pay-what-you-can, with donations gratefully accepted on behalf of Casey House. All donations made at the concert and in advance online were generously matched by the Scotiabank Bright Future Fund, meaning that attendees’ generosity will go twice as far in supporting compassionate HIV/AIDS care.
ABOUT VOICES OF HOPE
Voices of Hope is Canada’s national concert series marking International World AIDS Day. Toronto’s concert was in support of Casey House. Additional concerts were hosted by Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation (Vancouver) and Maison du Parc (Montreal). All three concerts also support our national partner, CANFAR.
Jose Arias as Dyna Thirst – VOCAL
Dillan Chiblow – VOCAL
Gavin Crawford – VOCAL
Jordan Klapman (Musical Director) – PIANO
Gerald Martindale – CARILLON
Sharron Matthews – VOCAL
Avery Raquel – VOCAL
Oasis Vocal Jazz – CHOIR
Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea
Lesley Ballantyne and Briane Nasimok, http://
Thank you for helping Casey House give compassion a home, every day.
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