Performers line up to give something back to the Janeway Childrens Hospital
The Janeway Childrens Hospital has almost certainly touched every person in this province at some point in their lives. Patient or parent, the Janeway is a place to feel safe and cared for, no matter how scary an illness may be. Necessary to maintaining that superior level of care is the raising of funds, which is partly done in the form of the Janeway Childrens Miracle Network Telethon. All funds generated by the Telethon go to equipment, research and the many other needs of the hospital.
For the last five years, the Celebration Concert has also been a part of the Telethon, held jointly by the Janeway Childrens Hospital Foundation and CBC Television. Tony Murray is this years concerts producer, and he explains that its purpose is twofold.
We do the show for two reasons. The show itself helps fundraise some money for the Janeway. But also, having the entertainment makes the Telethon a little more enjoyable, a little more fun to watch, and that in itself helps raise money.
Murray said this years concert will be hosted by actors Neil Butler and Aiden Flynn.
The shows bill reads like a Newfoundland whos-who in entertainment. Canadian Idol finalist Craig Sharpe will appear, having just released his first CD I Am. So will Duane Andrews, a three-time ECMA winner. Then theres former I Mother Earth front man Brian Byrne; multiple ECMA nominee Amelia Curran; 2006 MusicNL female artist of the year Sherry Ryan; plus Blair Harvey, Chris Kirby, Allan Rickets, Mark Bragg and Maggie Meyer all get in on the action.
Like most, Murray feels an emotional connection to this cause.
As the father of a six-year-old child, you find the Janeway looking like home; you spend a lot of time there. The Janeways always special.
Murray notes that the performers almost always feel the same.
I certainly dont think anyone does it just to be on TV, even though one of the nice things about this is that CBC does put (the performers) on air and let people see them play. I think they all do it out of the goodness of their hearts. And, hes quick to note, everybody who performs on this show, host or performer, is giving of their time freely. (Read without being paid for it.)
As producer, Murray tries to cover all musical bases. We try to make it variety based. We try to appeal to a lot of people.
Seems hes succeeded, as this years artists run the gamut of pop, rock, traditional and folk.
Plus, Murray continues, we try to choose artists who are from (this province), and we try to stay current. Just about everybody in this show has had a recording out in the last year, or just about to come out I think its a really great snapshot of how well our musical scene is doing.
I think its a show where youre going to see some of our best and brightest, but more importantly, youre going to see people who are working their craft in a professional manner. Plus, CBC Television is really doing a great job of bringing these artists into your living room.
CBC Television will videotape the concert and air excerpts during The Janeway Childrens Miracle Network Telethon June 2 and 3. Those who attend the show will also get in on the added fun of being part of the live studio audience vibe.
The CBC Janeway Celebration Concert is an all-ages show that will take place at the Holy Heart Theatre Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through the Arts and Culture Centre Box Office by phone, in person and online.