This past Monday evening, the Toronto United Church Council honoured 2 of the world’s leading humanitarian activists, Lt. General Roméo Dallaire and Dr. Mary Jo Leddy, for their dedication to human rights by presenting them with Heart & Vision Awards.
Several hundred guests lined the pews of the Metropolitan United Church on Queen East (below)….
….as the evening’s MC, tv & radio personality Michael Williams (below) introduced the presenters and guest performers.
The world renowned Elmer Iseler Singers started off the concert with a beautiful rendition of The Mi’Kmaq Song..
Rev. John Joseph Mastandrea (below) took the stage to open the proceedings….
and welcomed the two honourees (below)
VP of TUCC, Susan Smith (below) was welcomed to the stage to talk about the evening and the honourees…
Susan also paid tribute to Vincent Alfano, the late Executive Director of TUCC (below) before introducing…
….Alexa Gilmour (below) who spoke on the life and work of honouree, Dr. Mary Jo Leddy
…who was then joined at the podium by Michael Kooiman (below), minister of Central United Church in Weston for the presentation.
Dr. Mary Jo Leddy received her Heart & Vision Award, created by Canadian stained glass artist Dianne MacLeod, then spoke at great length about her work with refugees.
The Elmer Iseler Singers took the stage again, and Thom Allison performed a moving song prior to the next honoree
Reverend Ron Ewart (below) then introduced the second Heart & Vision Award recipient, Lt. General Roméo Dallaire
…who was presented with the award by Susan Smith (below)
…and he kept the crowd spellbound with his tales of war and survival.
After thanks were given to all the guests, event sponsors and performers, The Elmer Iseler Singers sang Psalm 148 then were joined by Thom Allison and opera star Jennie Such to end the concert with Make our Garden Grow.
A wonderful post-concert reception was held in the church basement where UrbanSource Catering presented delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine.
While guests were enjoying all the tasty treats, General Dallaire was interviewed by SiriusXM Radio’s Kate Wheeler (below) in the church library for her show What She Said (with fellow former TV network news anchor Christine Bentley). UrbanSource Catering made sure they were well looked after with wine and a tray of food!
Here Kate’s interview with General Dallaire here: https://soundcloud.com/whatshesaid167/lieutenant-general-romeo-dallaire-joins-kate-wheeler
Ticket sales from the concert benefited the Community Relief Fund – you can find out more about the Toronto United Church Council’s work by visiting their website: http://tucc.ca/
If you would like more info on Toronto’s premier corporate and event caterers, Urban Source Catering, please visit their website: http://www.urbancatering.com/
Big thank you to my talented photographer, H.T. Jade Yeh, who shot most of the pics featured here. Please enjoy more photos from the event, including the great team of volunteers who worked hard to present a fabulous evening, the video and sound production team, Music Director Jason Jestadt and of course, I grabbed a few photos with some of the celebs attending (below). Here’s singer/songwriter Micah Barnes with snapd newspaper reporter Britney Townsend, then me with internationally renowned Canadian flutist Ron Korb.
Thank you to everyone who contributed….