These are tough times for Canada, but we are all in the same boat and hope is on the horizon.
This was the message of Sunday’s “Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble”, an expression of support par excellence for those on the front line in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis.
A who’s who of Canadian artists, athletes, writers, activists and even astronauts appeared from their respective locations during the 90-minute broadcast, which English and French Canadian broadcasters broadcast on dozens of platforms television, streaming and radio.
Billed as the largest single broadcast in Canadian history, it focused on a $ 150 million fundraising campaign for Food Banks Canada, which saw an increase in the number of people using their services during the pandemic.
Canadian rocker Sam Roberts kicked off the program with an uplifting acoustic performance at home of his 2014 single “We Are All Together”, performed with three children by his side playing music.
Political satirist Rick Mercer then appeared, saying, “This is a very difficult time for our country. Each of us is separate from the people we love. “
He also said that “the hearts of Canadians are broken for the people of Nova Scotia”, who is reeling from a recent shooting spurt.
Singer Anne Murray then spoke to the province she calls home.
“To the family, friends and communities of those affected, we want you to know that we are grieving with you and that we are sending prayers for courage and strength as you try to make sense of this horrific tragedy Said Murray before presenting Voices Rock Medicine. , a choir of female doctors.
An impressive number of celebrities were part of the special event, encouraging Canadians to stay at home, stay strong and support front-line workers and Food Banks Canada.
Frontline workers and Canadians who survived the coronavirus also appeared to be telling their stories.
Pop superstar Celine Dion spoke to viewers in French and English, praising “heroes from around the world who go to work every day.”
Michael Buble with the Barenaked Ladies, Geddy Lee, Robbie Robertson, Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, David Foster, Alessia Cara, Tom Cochrane, Jann Arden, Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Justin Bieber and Shania Twain, who started an acoustic version of his tube “Up! With the words “Coronavirus bothers me. “
Comedy stars Ryan Reynolds, Mike Myers, Howie Mandel, Will Arnett and Amy Poehler provided moments of lightness.
“It is Sunday evening and today marks the 10th anniversary of the quarantine we have been in for six weeks,” said Reynolds.
“I am wearing a constable hat not only because I am proud of Canada, but because I have a quarantine haircut that appears to have been done with a knife and fork,” said Myers.
Arnett said he “hasn’t showered in about a month, it doesn’t matter,” which Poehler – his ex who was in the same room – joked: “But actually is the case, Will. “
Other celebrities include Margaret Atwood, Geddy Lee, Daniel and Eugene Levy, and Catherine O’Hara.
Bieber, Buble, Avril Lavigne and several other musicians also collaborated on an interpretation of “With Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, who died last month.
Toronto actor-musician Kiefer Sutherland mentioned his late grandfather Tommy Douglas, who was known as the founder of medicare, in his salute to front-line healthcare workers.
Toronto rapper Drake – appearing after a brief comment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – closed the series with a message of encouragement to those struggling.
“In fact, I ended up in the hospital the other day because of a foot injury, and just to see the morale, the smiles, the good mood all over my face that I could meet in this situation despite everything that was going on, “he said.
“It’s just amazing to see people who have to leave their families every day and go to work in the midst of this crisis, as dangerous as it is, really the glue that holds us all together. So thank you, thank you very much for that. “
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 26, 2020.