Virtual Unison Holiday Concert to Feature July Talk, Mother Mother, Sam Roberts Band and More

By Etan Vlessing 11/19/20 |

The Unison Benevolent Fund has unveiled the performance lineup for its virtual Canada In Unison Holiday Special: In Concert, streaming on Sessions Live, to support Canadian music industry professionals left without work and in financial need amid the pandemic.

The concert, set for Dec. 17, will feature Iskwe + Tom Wilson, Jim Cuddy, July Talk, Matthew Good, members of Mother Mother, Neon Dreams, Ruth B., Sam Roberts Band, Sarah Harmer, Scott Helman, Tim Hicks, The Glorious Sons, Tom Jackson and more artists.  Tickets are $30 (taxes included).

For the past five years, pre-pandemic, the music industry has gathered in person for the Unison Holiday Schmoozefest in Toronto, the biggest fundraising party before the holidays.

"As requests for help continue to increase substantially and we head into the winter months, the Unison Benevolent Fund hopes that it can continue to raise the much-needed funds to ensure stability and resiliency in the Canadian music industry over the course of this pandemic and beyond. We are extremely grateful to the artist participants and everyone that has supported us over the years and during these challenging times," Unison’s Bernie Breen, chair of the board of directors, said in a statement. 

Their performances will assist Unison, an assistance program offering discreet support to music industry professionals as the COVID-19 virus shuts down concert touring and venues. 

Besides financial assistance, Unison also has a toll-free, 24/7 number to counsel Canadian music professionals on personal and practical issues.

In addition to mental health issues, the counseling extends to legal advice, financial guidance and tackling addictions.

Unison said the virtual concert aims to "draw attention to the increased demand and urgency to support the Canadian music industry during this difficult time as their need for support substantially increases with so many music people out-of-work and in-need due to the pandemic.

Unison added requests for its services during the COVID-19 crisis had risen 5500%, as $1.2 million in funds had already supported around 2200 entertainment professionals countrywide, with no sign of that demand easing.

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