A MUSIC MAKES MIRACLES PRODUCTION
#BackFortMac
A CONCERT IN SUPPORT OF CITIZENS OF FORT MCMURRAY
Photograph by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

News

#BackFortMac raised $187k for Canadian Red Cross and pushes for $200k by Thanksgiving

TORONTO, ON | September 28, 2016 – The #BackFortMac Concert raised $187,739, or approximately $187k, in donations with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal, it was announced today by the volunteer organizers, who are challenging Canadians to reach the $200,000 mark by Thanksgiving!

“The incredible contribution from #BackFortMac to the Canadian Red Cross is deeply appreciated,” says Ronan Ryan, Chief Development Officer, Canadian Red Cross. “It is a true illustration of Canadian spirit for so many performers, individual volunteers and organizations to come together and help the people of Fort McMurray in their time of need.”

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“The outpouring of generosity and support that Alberta and the people of FortMcMurray have seen from Canadians has been nothing short of amazing, and speaks to the compassion and caring spirit that is truly Canadian. On behalf of all Albertans, thank you to the organizers, artists, sponsors, volunteers, the Canadian Red Cross, and of course, the generous donors to #BackFortMac for their tremendous support of FortMcMurray and Alberta,” says Premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley.

“We held the #BackFortMac fundraiser to show support for our fellow Canadians, the citizens in and around Fort McMurray whose homes were ravaged by wildfire, and help raise money to help them recover and rebuild their lives,” said Co-Executive Producer Adrian Luces. “Many amazing Canadian performers donated their time and performances for the June 27 #BackFortMac Concert at Roy Thomson Hall, which was entirely staged by volunteers, with the backing of many generous sponsors,” added Patti Jannetta, Co-Executive Producer.

“The #BackFortMac Concert was a unique outpouring of Canadian love for fellow Canadians, especially for the Albertans devastated by the wildfires in and around Fort McMurray,” said Co-Chair and host Arlene Dickinson.

The $187k was raised through a combination of generous sponsors, box office, direct donations made at www.BackFortMac.com (a live website so donate now), as well as a donation from Kiefer Sutherland’s performance at the Toronto International Jazz Festival, held the same night as #BackFortMac.

Huge thanks to all the Talented Canadian #BackFortMac Performers
#BackFortMac the concert featured an outstanding lineup of Canadian performers including Thirteen-time Juno Award winner, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, multi-Juno Award winning soul singer Johnny Reid, Juno Award classical/opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, legendary rocker, author, and 5-time Juno Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Alan Frew of Glass Tiger, classical guitarist and 5-time Juno Award winner Liona Boyd, Canadian tenor John McDermott, Canada's queen of Soul and Gospel Jackie Richardson and her two-time Juno Award winning daughter Kim Richardson, Juno nominee Jazz singer Matt Dusk, 2008 Juno Award winner for best vocal jazz album of the year Sophie Milman, violinist extraordinaire Anne Lindsay, Country music duo The Lovelocks, Adult Contemporary singer Mark Masri, Slaight Music emerging artist, Kayla Diamond, country rock act The Devin Cuddy Band, as well as acapella sea shanty group Pressgang Mutiny, 7Sould, and all the amazing musicians in the incredible BackFortMac orchestra.

The concert was hosted by Dragons Den Star Arlene Dickinson, award winning comics and Canadian icons Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath, and CP24’s Steve Anthony, with special appearances by, Ronnie Hawkins, Spider Jones and Darryl Sittler.

Honoured guests included the Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Alberta's Minister of Culture and Tourism as well as Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly.

Thank you to the #BackFortMac Heroes | The Fort Mac Firefighters
We were proud to welcome the 10 Fort McMurray Firefighters and their Deputy Chief Jody Butz to the #BackFortMac Concert. We also thank the 16 Members of the Toronto Professional Firefighters Association (including six members of the 2016 Toronto Firefighters Calendar) and its Vice President, Damien Walsh. We thank the Red Cross Volunteers and the two Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders who came out and showed their support.

Fort Mac Update | "I find it amazing what a group of passionate people can accomplish," said Jody Butz, Assistant Deputy Chief of Operations, Regional Emergency Services, Wood Buffalo, who attended #BackFortMac with nine Fort Mac firefighters.

“I think it’s important to communicate back the efforts and donations put forward are being used for what it was meant for,” Butz continued. “It has helped those affected to step out of the ashes and back into a safe community. It reduces the stressors of providing basic, essential requirements for living. For example, beginning of September Red Cross released an additional $600 per child of affected families to ensure the cost of school registrations did not add to the finical burden of rebuilding a home and the costs of alternate living arrangements. There are no children in Fort McMurray being delayed or denied an education as result of the wildfire. Our heartfelt thank you to the #BackFortMac volunteers, to everyone who donated time and money, and especially to all the awesome musicians who performed."

“Toronto firefighters were pleased to be a part of the huge success of the #BackFortMac concert,” said Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association President, Frank Ramagnano. “We congratulate all of the volunteers and are grateful for their commitment to helping fellow Canadians in their time of need.”

Thank you to the generous #BackFortMac Sponsors
The #BackFortMac Concert would not have been possible without the generous support of our SPONSORS | Diamond Sponsors: Air Canada, Durham Radio Group, National Post, Roy Thomson Hall and the Toronto Sun | Gold Sponsors: ARS Restoration Services, The Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Musicians Association | Silver Sponsors: Slaight Music, Normative | Bronze Sponsors: TD Bank Group, Breakfast Television, CP24, Cambridge Suites Hotel, Music Makes Miracles, Newstalk 1010, The Ritz Carlton Hotel - Toronto, Touchwood PR and Xmovement | Friends of #BackFortMac: Masters Insurance, Newtron Group, Strone Restoration, Hub International, IATSE, D + H, Travellers, Belfor, Giffin Koerth, SCM, Enirgi, | Supporters: AMJ Campbell Moving, @OnCamera3000, Shangri-La Hotel, Adriaans and Associates, Cambria, Merch in Motion, Robert Lowrey Pianos, Longos, and MDD

Thank you to our Tireless #BackFortMac Volunteers
The Volunteer Working Group of caring Canadians staging #BackFortMac are: Co-Chairs Bruce Bowser, Arlene Dickinson, Jon Dwyer, Eileen Greene, Pradeep Sood | Executive Producers Patti Jannetta, Adrian Luces | Producer, Communications & Media Suzan Ayscough | Musical Director Mark Camilleri | Production Manager Scott Carmichael | Script Writer Briane Nasimok | Artist Coordinator Joanne Cochrane | Photographer Elijah Shark | Action Team Sarena Ally, Carole Adriaans, Tom Allison, Holly Anderson, Sandra Badali, Dave Baker, Michelle Baker, Michael Baldassarra, Aaron Barberian, Rod Black, Bessie Bullard, Jess Genevieve Brown, Sharon Cooper, Ivan de Souza, Daniel French, Hans Gerhardt, Andrea Grau, Norm Kelly, Eion Leggat, Maximillian Vogrin-Levy, Liisa Palokoski, Alma Parvizian, Frances Peksyk-Cichocki, John Slighte, Dave Swan and Jon Tirmandi.

Proceeds from #BackFortMac have been donated to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal, supporting families and individuals impacted by the wildfires in Alberta, ten per cent of which will be donated to the Red Cross disaster readiness program. The program allows the Red Cross to be ready to respond to emergencies such as the fires in Alberta at a moment’s notice with its network of highly-trained staff and volunteers across the country.

Fundraising continues at www.BackFortMac.com

Toronto ‘Calendar Firefighters’ to join top Canadian talent at Benefit Concert #BackFortMac

TORONTO, ON | June 8, 2016 – Some of Toronto’s infamous “Calendar Firefighters” will arrive at Roy Thomson Hall in firetrucks to raise awareness for the #BackFortMac Concert fundraiser to support the Red Cross Alberta Fire Appeal on June 27, it was announced today.

"Devastating events like the Fort McMurray fires may bring down the buildings, but they can never bring down the spirit of Canadians. We are incredibly proud of our brothers and sisters of the Fort McMurray Fire Department, not only for their courage in the face of a massive disaster, but in putting aside the losses of their own homes while doing a very difficult job. And we are equally honoured to be a part of this great event that will help the residents of Fort McMurray get back to their lives. It's a wonderful cause for a great city," says Toronto Professional Firefighters Association President Frank Ramagnano.

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The Toronto Firefighters will get the evening going for previously announced talent, including: legendary songwriter and singer Jim Cuddy, who will perform with an orchestra and his long-time band member and violinist Anne Lindsay, renowned soprano Measha Brueggergosman, 5-time Juno Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Alan Frew of Glass Tiger, Canadian tenor John McDermott, classical guitarist and 5-time Juno Award winner Liona Boyd (& accompanist Michael Savona), Canada’s queen of soul and gospel Jackie Richardson, jazz vocalist Matt Dusk, The Lovelocks country duo , The Devin Cuddy Band, and Slaight Music artist Kayla Diamond.

#BackFortMac #TheConcert will be co-hosted by Arlene Dickinson (Dragon & CEO of Venture Communications), Colin Mochrie (Whose Line is it Anyway) and Deb McGrath (Little Mosque on the Prairie) on June 27 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, with all proceeds going directly to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal.

#BackFortMac TICKETS available at www.roythomson.com/eventdetail/BackFortMac

#BackFortMac is being staged to help the thousands of citizens affected by the catastrophic and on-going fires around Fort McMurray, Alberta, and to let them know that Canadians stand with them.

These generous Canadians are donating their talent and Roy Thompson Hall has waived its rental costs; there are no admin fees for volunteer work.

Ninety per cent of the funds raised by #BackFortMac will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal, supporting families and individuals impacted by the wildfires in Alberta. Ten per cent of proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross disaster readiness program, which allows the Red Cross to be ready to respond to emergencies such as the fires in Alberta at a moment’s notice with its network of highly-trained staff and volunteers across the country.

The Working Group of caring Canadians staging #BackFortMac are: Co-Chairs Bruce Bowser, Arlene Dickinson, Jon Dwyer, Eileen Greene, Pradeep Sood | Executive Producers Patti Jannetta, Adrian Luces | Action Team Tom Allison, Suzan Ayscough, Dave Baker, Michelle Baker, Aaron Barberian, Bessie Bullard, Rod Black, Mark Camilleri, Scott Carmichael, Joanne Cochrane, Sharon Cooper, Ivan de Souza, Jake Gold, Andrea Grau, Dan Jacob, Tanya Jivov, Norm Kelly, Eion Leggat, Maximillian Vogrin-Levy, Andrew MacDonald, Liisa Palokoski, Frances Peksyk- Cichocki, John Slighte, Dave Swan, Jon Trimandi, Joseph Turcotte, Monica Virmani and Vinay Virmani.

Tenor John McDermott, Guitarist Liona Boyd and Rocker Alan Frew to Perform at Benefit Concert #BackFortMac

TORONTO, ON | June 3, 2016 – Canadian tenor John McDermott, classical guitarist and 5-time Juno Award winner Liona Boyd, and legendary rocker, author, and 5-time Juno Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Alan Frew of Glass Tiger will perform #BackFortMac #TheConcert on June 27 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, featuring Canadian talent and all proceeds going directly to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal, it was announced today. Read More

They will join previously announced talent, including: legendary songwriter and singer Jim Cuddy, who will perform with an orchestra and his long time band member and violinist Anne Lindsay, The Devin Cuddy Band, Measha Brueggergosman, The Lovelocks, Jackie Richardson, Matt Dusk, Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath. More talent TBA soon!

#BackFortMac TICKETS GO ON SALE NOW | www.roythomson.com/eventdetail/BackFortMac

#BackFortMac is being staged to help the thousands of citizens affected by the catastrophic and on-going fires around Fort McMurray, Alberta, and to let them know that Canadians stand with them.

As previously announced, Arlene Dickinson (Dragon & CEO of Venture Communications) will co- emcee #BackFortMac.

These generous Canadians are donating their talent and Roy Thompson Hall has waived its rental costs; there are no admin fees for volunteer work.

Ninety per cent of the funds raised by #BackFortMac will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal, supporting families and individuals impacted by the wildfires in Alberta. Ten per cent of proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross disaster readiness program, which allows the Red Cross to be ready to respond to emergencies such as the fires in Alberta at a moment’s notice with its network of highly-trained staff and volunteers across the country.

The Working Group of caring Canadians staging #BackFortMac are: Co-Chairs Bruce Bowser, Arlene Dickinson, Jon Dwyer, Eileen Greene, Pradeep Sood | Executive Producers Patti Jannetta, Adrian Luces | Action Team Tom Allison, Suzan Ayscough, Dave Baker, Michelle Baker, Aaron Barberian, Bessie Bullard, Rod Black, Mark Camilleri, Scott Carmichael, Joanne Cochrane, Sharon Cooper, Ivan de Souza, Jake Gold, Andrea Grau, Dan Jacob, Tanya Jivov, Norm Kelly, Eion Leggat, Maximillian Vogrin-Levy, Andrew MacDonald, Liisa Palokoski, Frances Peksyk- Cichocki, John Slighte, Dave Swan, Jon Trimandi, Joseph Turcotte, Monica Virmani and Vinay Virmani.

TouchwoodPR
Alma Parvizian | VP
416.593.0777 x202
alma@touchwoodpr.com

Jim Cuddy & Canadian talent to perform at Benefit Concert #BackFortMac

TORONTO, ON | May 30, 2016 – On Monday, June 27, a #BackFortMac concert will be staged at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, featuring Canadian talent and all proceeds going directly to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal, it was announced today. Read More

“We are staging #BackFortMac to help the thousands of citizens affected by the catastrophic and on-going fires around Fort McMurray, Alberta, and let them know that Canadians stand with them, says #BackFortMac executive producers Adrian Luces and Patti Jannetta. “We are reaching out to Canadians from coast to coast to ask: please help us make a difference in the lives of Fort Mac families.”

Today there are multiple fires still wreaking havoc in the larger district around Fort McMurray, known as Wood Buffalo.

“The effects of this disaster have been devastating to individuals, families and the communities of Wood Buffalo,” says Conrad Sauvé, president and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. “Thanks to fundraising initiatives such as the #BackFortMac concert, people have a chance to come together to enjoy some great Canadian talent while also providing an incredible contribution towards helping the Red Cross improve the lives of those in need.”

Arlene Dickinson (Dragon & CEO of Venture Communications) will co-emcee #BackFortMac: “As a proud Canadian and Albertan, I’ve been deeply moved by both the tragedy that has struck this community, and by the outpouring of support shown by Canadians from coast to coast. #BackFortMac is an opportunity to showcase the values that unite us as Canadians. It’s an opportunity for us to once again show we are a compassionate, caring, strong, and united country.”

Legendary songwriter and singer Jim Cuddy (Skyscraper Soul), will perform with an orchestra and his long time band member and violinist Anne Lindsay. He says: "We have all watched helplessly by as devastating fires have driven the citizens of Fort McMurray from their homes. I'm happy to play a small part in helping to raise funds for the community and hope that in raising our voices we can let the people of Fort Mac know that Canadians across the country are with them."

Canadian musicians confirmed at #BackFortMac to date are: Jim Cuddy (& violinist), The Devin Cuddy Band, Measha Brueggergosman, Lovelocks, Jackie Richardson, Matt Dusk, Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath. #BackFortMac tickets at Roy Thompson Hall go on sale Friday June 3. More talent TBA soon! These generous Canadians are donating their talent and Roy Thompson Hall has waived its rental costs; there are no admin fees for volunteer work.

Ninety per cent of the funds raised by #BackFortMac will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal, supporting families and individuals impacted by the wildfires in Alberta. Ten per cent of proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross disaster readiness program, which allows the Red Cross to be ready to respond to emergencies such as the fires in Alberta at a moment’s notice with its network of highly-trained staff and volunteers across the country.

The Working Group of caring Canadians staging #BackFortMac are: Co-Chairs Bruce Bowser, Arlene Dickinson, Jon Dwyer, Eileen Greene, Pradeep Sood | Executive Producers Patti Jannetta, Adrian Luces | Action Team Tom Allison, Suzan Ayscough, Dave Baker, Michelle Baker, Aaron Barberian, Rod Black, Mark Camilleri, Scott Carmichael, Joanne Cochrane, Sharon Cooper, Ivan de Souza, Jake Gold, Andrea Grau, Dan Jacob, Tanya Jivov, Norm Kelly, Eion Leggat, Maximillian Vogrin-Levy, Andrew MacDonald, Liisa Palokoski, Frances Peksyk-Cichocki, John Slighte, Jon Trimandi, Joseph Turcotte, Monica Virmani and Vinay Virmani.

TouchwoodPR
Andrea Grau | CEO
416.593.0777 x201
andrea@touchwoodpr.com

Artists

Jim Cuddy

Jim Cuddy

Legendary songwriter and singer
Johnny Reid

Johnny Reid

Juno award winner
The Lovelocks

The Lovelocks

Country duo
Alan Frew

Alan Frew

Legendary rocker, author, and 5-time Juno Award winner and Grammy Award nominee
Measha Brueggergosman

Measha Brueggergosman

Canadian soprano
Jackie Richardson

Jackie Richardson

Canada’s queen of soul and gospel
Matt Dusk

Matt Dusk

Jazz vocalist
Devin Cuddy

Devin Cuddy

Canadian singer-songwriter
Sophie Milman

Sophie Milman

Jazz vocalist
Liona Boyd

Liona Boyd

Classical guitarist and 5-time Juno Award winner
Kim Richardson

Kim Richardson

Two-time Juno Award winning singer
Kayla Diamond

Kayla Diamond

Slaight Music emerging artist
Pressgang Mutiny

Pressgang Mutiny

A capella sea shanty group
Mark Masri

Mark Masri

Canadian tenor
John McDermott

John McDermott

Canada’s Irish tenor

Hosts

Arlene Dickinson

Host

Arlene Dickinson Dragons Den Star
Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath

Co-Hosts

Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath Award winning comics
Steve Anthony

Co-Host

Steve Anthony CP24’s popular on-air personality

About

In response to the catastrophic on-going fires that continue to burn and wreak havoc on Fort McMurray, a group of caring individuals have come together to inspire and galvanize others to raise funds for the thousands of people affected by this disaster.

On Monday, June 27th, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, #BackFortMac - The Concert, will be staged, with all proceeds going directly to the Canadian Red Cross’ Alberta Fires Appeal.

Notable Canadian performers, and celebrities from the film, television and sports world, will join forces to pay homage and tribute to the brave and resilient residents, of Fort McMurray Alberta.

Watch for further details in the days ahead. Tickets go on sale, Friday June 3rd.

“The effects of this disaster have been devastating to individuals, families and the entire community of Fort McMurray,” says Conrad Sauvé, president and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. “Thanks to fundraising initiatives such as the #BackFortMac concert, people have a chance to come together to enjoy some great Canadian talent while also providing an incredible contribution towards helping the Red Cross improve the lives of those in need.”