Sting, Lyle Lovett, Sarah McLachlan and Chantal Kreviazuk are among the musical contributors to the Rise Together live streaming event to benefit the War Child charity on Dec. 7.
The virtual gala — a War Child Canada and War Child USA initiative — will be free to watch with registration and viewers will have the option to donate to War Child and to bid on numerous auction items. Other musical acts scheduled to perform include LP, Notifi and Wali Shah.
All proceeds raised from the event will support War Child Canada and War Child USA’s COVID-19 response programs for children and their families throughout the world.
Hosted by Entertainment Tonight Canada's Sangita Patel, the evening will also feature appearances by War Child ambassadors Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski as well as David Harbour, Troian Bellisario, Sheaun McKinney, Beth Behrs, Patrick J Adams, Sarah Rafferty, Ashley Park, and Rachael MacFarlane. There will also be special cooking segment with celebrity chef Mark McEwan.
Founded in the United Kingdom in 1993, War Child specializes in supporting children affected by conflict. The organization's broad range of activities include things like emergency food assistance, finding ways to protect children in war-affected areas from sexual and legal abuses, provide medical and psychosocial support, support educational initiatives, advocate for childrens' well-being and look for youth entrepreneur and employment opportunities.
Founded in the United Kingdom in 1993, War Child is currently active in 15 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and Latin America. War Child Canada, which was founded in 1999, provided assistance to over 600,000 children and their families in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made the already precarious situation for children in war-affected regions even more difficult.
"The pandemic has been challenging for us all, but that burden has been greatest among impoverished and marginalized communities," said Dr. Samantha Nutt, War Child Canada and USA founder and president, in a statement. "This reality is particularly pronounced in the world's war zones and refugee camps, where children and their families face daily struggles to meet even their most basic needs — food, water, shelter, health care and education. We hope that this event will act as a powerful reminder that the best way to address this crisis is through mindful global cooperation and consideration, working together at every step to ensure that those who need help and support the most are not forgotten, wherever they live in the world."
War Child Ambassador and actor Thomas Sadoski (John Wick, Law & Order, Life In Pieces) encouraged coming together to support War Child.
"Not many of us can remember a time as fraught as the one we find ourselves in now," said Sadoski in a statement. "But this can be our beacon: joining to help women and children rebuild their lives and their communities that have been shattered by war. The opportunity and support War Child provides helps communities rebuild from foundation to freedom. I'm so honored to join with this tremendous group of artists and humanitarians to support the courage and power of the women and children who inspire us to rise together."
Thirty-two items in the Rise Together auction are already available for online bidding. These include a virtual meet-and-greet with Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy, which is currently at $300, The Tragically Hip holiday merchandise crate, which has a current highest bid of $750, and the opportunity to have a song recorded for you by Corey Hart, which is currently at $350. Other auction packages include an Epiphone Les Paul Special II electric guitar autographed by the Arkells, the opportunity to a song written for you by Randy Bachman, and a signed Pearl Jam poster from their Prague, Czech Republic concert on July 2, 2018.
War Child's Dr. Samantha Nutt explains the need for a global response to COVID-19