Long-Running Andy Kim Christmas Special Will Make Television Debut

By Steve McLean 12/2/20 | www.samaritanmag.com

Andy Kim — photo provided.
"Rock Me Gently" singer/songwriter Andy Kim’s annual fundraising Christmas concert has been a holiday season live music highlight in Toronto for 15 years, and the 2020 edition will have a wider television and online platform, to raise money for  Crew Nation, CAMH's Gifts of Light and Food Banks Canada.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings of people, this year’s Andy Kim Christmas Special won’t be held in front of a live audience but will reach far more people with its national television debut on Toronto’s Citytv and stream on Citytv.com and LiveNation.com on Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. EST.

The Montreal-born Kim, who usually caps the annual night with all the guests singing his smash “Sugar, Sugar,” has recruited Barenaked Ladies, Broken Social Scene, Buffy Sainte-Marie, City and Colour, Glass Tiger and Roch Voisine, Jully Black, Ron Sexsmith, Sam Roberts, Sarah McLachlan, Serena Ryder and William Prince.

The concert will be hosted by Sportsnet host and Joydrop singer Tara Slone, along with Cityline host Tracy Moore, and viewers will be encouraged to visit Donate.AndyKimMusic.com to donate throughout the show.

Kim, who has sold more than 30 million records, won two Junos, and been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame and Canada's Walk Of Fame, said in a media release, “I was on the verge of having to postpone the 16th year of my Christmas show and was truly bummed out. I kept thinking of all the people who are having a difficult time economically, spiritually and emotionally.

“I did not want to abandon the purpose of my yearly show — giving to those in need at this time of year. With the support of Live Nation Canada, Rogers and Air Miles, I am excited to bring the Andy Kim Christmas Special from coast to coast for the first time and hopefully raise an incredible amount of money to very worthy causes through the power of music."

Crew Nation is a charitable fund created to support independent workers in the live music industry who’ve been left without work due to the pandemic. The fund has so far raised $15 million, $10 million of it from Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company that’s composed of Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts and Live Nation Media & Sponsorship.

Crew Nation has helped 15,000 live music crew members in 48 countries who were impacted by rescheduled or cancelled shows that were supposed to take place through 2020.

Gifts of Light is a 100 percent donation-funded program that meets the unique needs of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s more than 14,000 patients. It works with patients, families and frontline clinical staff to identify patient wellness gaps in its system and support areas that don’t receive Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care funding, with the goal of improving the patient experience.

Gifts of Light partners with community organizations to bring specialty programming and events directly to patients. Programs include art and music workshops, adventure excursions, fitness classes and trauma-informed yoga. Items provided by Gifts of Light to those in need include emergency kits, pyjamas, socks and toothbrushes.

Food banks across Canada have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Their operational capacity is strained due to a loss of volunteers and changes due to public health requirements, while they're also facing increased demand in some areas. Funds raised from Andy Kim Christmas Special will help Food Banks Canada deal with immediate emergency needs and prepare for what’s to come.

Food Banks Canada is a charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. It was founded in 1987 and has a network made up of 10 provincial associations and more than 500 local food banks.

Air Miles is presenting Andy Kim Christmas Special and encourages viewers to log on to airmiles.ca/AndyKim to put some of their Air Miles towards rewards that directly benefit Food Banks Canada.

“While the holidays will undoubtedly look very different for many of us this year, we are proud to help create an experience that brings Canadians together through a rewarding holiday experience they can enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” Air Miles Reward Program president Blair Cameron said in the release.

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* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.