HIV/AIDS Benefit Includes Roundtable Talk With Harry Belafonte and Stephen Lewis

By Karen Bliss 2/6/11 |

Stephen Lewis
Photo credit: Gordon Griffiths / Courtesy of The Stephen Lewis Foundation
The Hope Rising! benefit concert, dinner and roundtable discussion, May 3 at The Sony Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto, is a brand new fundraising event for The Stephen Lewis Foundation to help raise money for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Since 2003, SLF has sent over $40 million to more than 300 community-level initiatives in 15 countries hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic. 

The most interesting component of the Hope Rising event is the roundtable and dinner, billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a small group of special guests to talk about how philanthropy can have a concrete and powerful impact in peoples’ lives on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic.”

The four guests are Lewis, the former United Nations Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa; Harry Belafonte, actor, musician and humanitarian; Aissatou Diajhate, SLF’s director of programmes; and Jessica Horn, international expert on donor support for human rights.

“The response to the crisis on the part of the international community is flagging just as grassroots organizations in Africa are poised to affect real change in the course of the pandemic,” said Lewis in a press statement. “With the proper support, we believe that at community level, where people live and die, such energy and prevention and care can be unleashed and employed, and the pandemic will be reversed.”

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
The Hope Rising! concert later that evening will feature headliner Alicia Keys, along with Angelique Kidjo, Holly Cole, Gloria Reuben, and more. There will also be performances by Da Kink in my Hair cast members Ngozi Paul, d’bi Young and Ordena Stephens; and grandmothers from South Africa and Swaziland. The co-hosts are CBC Radio’s Jian Ghomeshi, CTV’s Marci Ien and Canadian actress Gloria Reuben.

Tickets start at $150 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster at or 1.855.872.7669. A limited number of packages are available for premium Hope Rising! concert seating and access to the official after-party for $1,500.

A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $2,500 for premium concert seating, pre-show dinner and roundtable, plus access to the official after-party.

Hope Rising! is presented by CIBC. Lead sponsors are The Globe and Mail and Aeroplan’s Beyond Miles Program.

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