Tag Archives: Elmer Iseler Singers

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HEART & VISION AWARDS HONOUR LT.GEN’L ROMÉO DALLAIRE & DR. MARY JO LEDDY

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…

DSC00654….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.

??????????????????????????????? DSC00743The Elmer Iseler Singers took the stage again, and Thom Allison performed a moving song prior to the next honoree

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???????????????????????????????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)

DSC00801 ???????????????????????????????…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.

DSC00878A wonderful post-concert reception was held in the church basement where UrbanSource Catering presented delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine.

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? 20150511_215649While 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.

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??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? DSC00610 ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? DSC00923 ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? jsfWyvPAAl6GrDAmTglGJF9dr0iUSCffQXC3Dv6Th3U

20150511_192216Thank you to everyone who contributed….

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CANADIAN MUSIC ICON MICHAEL WILLIAMS TO MC NEXT MONDAY’S “HEART & VISION” AWARDS CONCERT

I’ve known and worked with Michael Williams since the early 80’s when MuchMusic launched it’s all music TV channel across Canada. Michael was one of the founding veejays for Canada’s answer to MTV, covering live concerts and festivals and interviewing just about every living music legend we know. He’s pleased to be MC’ing the annual Heart & Vision Awards Concert, next Monday May 11 at the Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto. This year’s award recipients are Lt. General Romeo Dallaire and Dr. Mary Jo Leddy  (ticket information at end of story)

Michael Williams Fall 1986Before the internet made us all so easily accessible, Michael became a household name across the country for hosting the popular Soul in the City series for MuchMusic (80’s thru 90’s), which was syndicated in 19 European countries and Japan, as well as The Power Hour and Electric Circus, also on the MuchMusic TV network. Michael has interviewed politicians, newsmakers and international recording artists and filmmakers including Stevie Wonder, Whitney Huston, Quincy Jones, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, Queen, Metallica, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, and Mark Wahlberg. (Below, with Quincy Jones, with young country star Hunter Hayes, with Nile Rodgers & Quincy Jones and with Oscar & Grammy winning composer/singer Paul Williams)

MW,Quincy Jones at Jazz Educator Conference Toronto Toronto-20140Hunter Hayes Nile Rodgers,Quincy Jones ,Michael Williams

Paul Williams and MWNow a dynamic, talented music producer and host of talk radio and music-related radio and television programs, Michael appears frequently on Toronto’s tv news networks and radio, sitting in as guest host for Newstalk1010 radio talk shows. Michael is also a much-in-demand host and MC for fundraisers and galas, and has introduced such world luminaries as the Dalai Llama and Lt.-General Romeo Dallaire.  He has assisted in the audio mix of Living Color, Ice T and Burton Cummings live to air concerts, co-hosted the World Music Video Awards and the Much Music Video Awards and been a Presenter at the Juno Awards.

As owner of Michael Williams Productions Inc. (1993-Present), he has:

  • Created, produced and hosted the College of Musical Knowledge for 94.7 the Wave, Soul on the Beach for Cool 96 FM, Nassau, Bahamas, and Beach Network, ON
  • Wrote, produced and hosted Live at the Pearl Company for Cable 14 Hamilton
  • Co-producer, writer and voice for ten film shorts, Millennium Promise Project
  • Voiced 24 x one-minute shorts for Black History Month for Rogers national TV network
  • Co-hosted Cookin’ with Guests on Jazz FM
  • Guest lecturer, Centre for Creative Communications, Centennial College, and Faculty of Music, York University
  • Designed, developed, produced and delivered Music Business Overview, an introduction to the history of the music business from sheet music to DVD, International Academy of Design & Technology
  • Produced the symphony, Afroadia, performed by the Brampton Symphony Orchestra
  • Author of a weekly column Soul Session published in Canadian Music Network Magazine
  • Hosted Urban Music Seminar at Canadian Music Week for two consecutive years

Michael recently spoke during Black History Month (2015) with long-time pal and collaborator, Spider Jones (pictured below)

MW,Spider JonesJoin Michael on Monday May 11th (7:30pm) as the Toronto United Church Council presents the HEART & VISION AWARDS CONCERT – there are still some tickets available for concert only and the concert & reception:  https://www.facebook.com/events/658101637629824/

If you would like to book Michael to host your fundraising event or concert, please contact me at FordhamPR@rogers.com

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HEART & VISION AWARDS CONCERT takes place May 11th in Toronto

Do you know about Toronto’s annual HEART & VISION AWARDS? I didn’t until last year when my friends at UrbanSource Catering asked me to attend and blog about the fabulous concert and awards presented by the Toronto United Church Council (TUCC) – Urban was catering the post-concert reception.

20140512_184414(0) 20140512_212142In 2014, awards were presented to Shirley Douglas  and Jackie Richardson for their humanitarianism and commitment to social justice, and the concert was both moving and rousing with songs, speeches and lots of love being shared amongst the audience in the pews of the Metropolitan United Church on Queen St East in Toronto. I had the pleasure of chatting with some of the Church dignitaries, ministers, guests and, of course, the wonderful ladies who were honoured.   Pictured below: Shirley Douglas and Jackie Richardson being serenaded by her daughter, Kim (2014).

IMG_3425 IMG_3476This year, I’m privileged to undertake the publicity and promotions for the Heart & Vision Awards taking place May 11th, this time honouring Lt. General Roméo Dallaire and Dr. Mary Jo Leddy (pictured below). I recently spoke with Jim Patterson, TUCC’s Director, Resource Development and one of the event organizers.

?????????????? Mary-Jo-Leddy-2Jim, tell me what the Heart & Vision Awards are all about and how long they have been presented?  The Toronto United Church Council’s annual Heart & Vision Awards Concert celebrates a commitment to social justice and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to social justice initiatives in Canada and internationally. They have been presented annually since 2009 and funds raised support Council’s work with children and youth and its work with social ministries in the GTA and south central Ontario.

The evening’s format is a concert.  It has gained a reputation as being an evening of stellar music with performances from some of the leading lights of Toronto’s music scene.  The reception is renowned for the sumptuous food catered by UrbanSource Catering.

20140512_212918 20140512_214936Who are some your previous recipients, and why? Previous recipients include Shirley Douglas and Jackie Richardson (2014), and in 2013 we honoured Margaret Atwood and the Hon. William G. Davis – below

IMG_8081 IMG_8043Maude Barlow and the Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes (2012) – below

IMG_0423-2…the Very Reverend Dr. Lois Wilson (below ctr) and Gordon Lightfoot (below right) in 2011….

Heart & Vision -20….as well as Dr. Cathy Crowe and the Hon. David McDonald (2010), and Rev. Gordon Winch and Norman Jewison (2009).

Our Heart and Vision recipients are political and church figures, popular musicians, film stars and directors, social and environmental activists, and writers.  Each has made a significant contribution to society’s quest for social and environmental justice.  For some the social justice connection is obvious – Cathy Crowe, for example, works as a street nurse and advocates for better care for homeless people and Brent Hawkes is a minister at Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church and a leader in supporting LGBTQ rights. Others, such as Gordon Lightfoot, Margaret Atwood, or Norman Jewison, have used their creative talent to highlight important social issues and inspire us to deeper empathy for others and respect for the natural world.

This year, you have two deserving recipients for the Heart & Vision Awards: Lt. Gen’l Roméo Dallaire and Dr. Mary Jo Leddy. Can you share the selection process and why these two humanitarians were chosen for 2015? Potential recipients are nominated by Council board members and other close friends of Council.  Each year a small committee chooses the recipients from the list of nominees.  For example, last year we honoured two women in the arts community (Shirley Douglas and Jackie Richardson) and the year before the recipients were recognized for their contributions to environmentalism (Margaret Atwood and the Hon. William G. Davis). Lieutenant-General Dallaire and Dr. Leddy are both advocates for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Lieutenant-General Dallaire is known for his work on genocide prevention, mental health and war-affected children and Dr. Leddy for her care and advocacy for refugees and the defense of their rights.

The Toronto United Church Council has coordinated the Community Relief Fund for over 120 years – how have the needs changed and how has the Church supported the communities involved?  The Toronto United Church Council is an historic and unique organization within The United Church of Canada. It was founded in 1892 as the Methodist Social Union, with a mandate to address social problems in the city. The “Union” – now the “Council” – oversaw mission and relief work in the city and its suburbs. It founded, owned, and operated the Victor Home for Women, now the Massey Centre (pictured below), where young women becoming mothers receive practical support. Similarly, the Council organized and managed the work of the Fred Victor Mission, which has provided food, shelter, and medical care to those in need since 1894.

massey centreBoth those organizations have become independent corporations with continuing Council support for their property and program requirements. During the depression, Council trucks distributed food and clothing to churches and missions to pass along to those in need. And early on, Council became involved in fresh-air camping programs for youth (pictured below).

campingToday, the Council continues to partner with and support social ministry endeavours of the United Church. Affordable housing projects such as Hillcrest Lodge in Orillia, community ministries like the Malvern Community Outreach Ministry, and social service ministries including the Toronto Christian Resource Centre, are in partnership with Council. In addition, Council partners with non-church organizations including Alpha Centre for men recovering from addiction and the Toronto Distress Centre.

Throughout this long history of ministry work, Council’s Community Relief Fund* has provided a conduit for individuals and congregations to share in the mission of partner agencies, missions, and congregations doing outreach in their local communities. From providing funding for appliances for food banks to bedding for women’s shelters, from setting up out-of-the-cold programs to providing venues for a hot meal program, the Fund has been there to help.

As Council’s oldest established fund, the Community Relief Fund continues to play an important role in shaping the ministry of Toronto United Church Council.  The Fund’s work demonstrates Council’s commitment to investing in social ministries that represent a breakthrough in local delivery of services rather than a breakdown.  In fact, since 1892, the Community Relief Fund has placed a very high value on investing its financial aid in projects and programs that promise solutions to some of society’s big problems.

Recently, much of the Fund’s energy has been invested in the work of the Toronto Christian Resource Centre in Regent Park.  That organization’s 40 Oaks project represents such a huge leap in the level of community service it provides to the homeless that Council was delighted to provide property, grants and financing to help ensure the success of the project.

What can attendees expect to see/hear at this year’s Awards concert Monday evening, May 11th?Attendees can expect an evening of soulful music featuring the Elmer Iseler Singers, Thom Allison and Jennie Such (pictured below). Musical Director Jason Jestadt has been coordinating the musical element of the evening since 2009 and each year the music is stellar.  Attendees will hear from the award recipients, Lieutenant-General Dallaire and Dr. Leddy.

Elmer_Iseler_Singers_Koerner_Photo_Bo_Huang Thom Allison Headshot headshotAnd a big thank you to all the enthusiastic volunteers (below) who dedicate time and energy to producing the concert each year, making sure all the technical and hospitality activities run smoothly. Bravo, team H&V!

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How can people get involved or support the Community Relief Fund if they can’t attend the concert?  Donations to the Community Relief Fund can be mailed to:
Toronto United Church Council
24-30 Wertheim Court
Richmond Hill, ON  L4B 1B9

*The Community Relief Fund makes grants to churches and to church corporations to help them renovate their premises to facilitate better delivery of social services to the communities they serve.

If you would like to attend this year’s Heart & Vision Awards Concert, Monday May 11th at the Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St East, Toronto. (Doors open 7:00pm), please visit  http://on.fb.me/1xTVDe7 for ticketing information, or visit the TUCC website: http://tucc.ca/

Thank you for supporting this outstanding philanthropic event that benefits all of us in the City of Toronto.

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