Benefit Concert for Ukraine
A May 13th fundraising concert at Knox Church in Stratford is aiming to raise money for airfare and immediate expenses for Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn homeland and hoping to settle in Stratford, Perth and Huron counties.
Organized by the Multicultural Association Perth-Huron (MAPH), the 7:30 p.m. concert will feature local resident and multi-award-winning artist Loreena McKennitt, as well as Gemini Award-winning actor Cedric Smith, actor Seana McKenna, the Stratford-based Celtic band The Bookends, and INNERchamber’s Andrew Chung on violin and Emily Hamper on piano. The Azars, a Syrian family, will also perform with Samir on oud, his wife Rouba on vocals. Former Festival actor Michael Fox will act as host for the event.
“I have just returned from Poland and Lviv, Ukraine where I was helping Ukrainian citizens prepare their travel documents and I can tell you the situation there is dire,” says Gezahgn Wordofa, founder and president of MAPH, a registered charity. “While different pieces are coming together, many of these people lack the means to buy airline tickets. We know the Canadian government is chartering flights, but timing is uncertain and people there are desperate. We feel this is where we can help and we’re deeply grateful to all the artists, suppliers and citizens playing a role in making this fundraising event happen.”
Musicians and special guests will all be donating their time and 100 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to this cause.
McKennitt will be performing solo, playing the harp or keyboards for four or five numbers. She is also producing the show for MAPH.
“Since MAPH operates from the Falstaff Family Centre, where our offices are also located, we’ve been able to get reports from Mr. Wordofa and his team almost daily,” says McKennitt. “Sadly, the scale and intensity of this war are not expected to change any time soon, and now it’s come right to our own doorstep with refugees desperately waiting to come here. I know many people have already contributed in various ways to this devastating humanitarian disaster, but the work is far from over and we must continue to lend our support in any way we can. This is about us doing what we can in our own backyard.”
COVID PROTOCOL: Knox Church will be equipped with HEPA filters and concert goers will be expected to wear masks. Tickets to the general admission event will be limited to 500 rather than full capacity. The concert is expected to be roughly an hour and a half long, with no intermission or refreshments served.
Purchase tickets here!