Calgary Herald

Fun evening raises $85,000 for vets

- BOB CLARK CALGARY HERALD

TDragons’ Den TV panellist Brett Wilson, who not only emceed the event, but largely underwrote it through his business connection­s and partnershi­ps with nearly all the performers involved. “It’s the first time I’m aware of that anyone’s ever said to the (concert-going) public, ‘Just bring a cheque, whatever (amount) you choose’ — so we’ll see if it works.” It did. Wilson’s three previous fundraisin­g concerts for the Veterans Food Bank — “More than just a food bank, it provides everything from wheelchair­s and mobility, to support when guys need cash,” he says — have each topped $50,000 in contributi­ons.

Tuesday’s concert brought in just over $85,000.

The evening informally kicked off with the diminutive and precocious Master Laurien playing an attractive medley of seasonal tunes to accompany audience members still making their way into the hall.

The young pianist’s very accomplish­ed pop concert set that started the show proper was followed by Danny Zzzz’s humorously set up card tricks and games aimed at keeping everyone guessing, if not a little confused. Then came Wilson himself offering heartfelt insight into Dragons’ Den philosophy and the true nature of entreprene­urial spirit.

The unaffected piano-vocal stylings of Welsman — performing a selection of Christmas songs and the title track of her Peggy Lee-inspired latest CD, I Like Men — preceded the break and the four poperatic guys everybody was waiting for.

And the very likable Canadian Tenors didn’t disappoint, hitting all the right notes — whether inspiratio­nal, rock-heroic seasonal, or simply romantic in mood — with their happy listeners.

 ?? Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald ?? The Canadian Tenors wooed the crowd at Jack Singer Concert Hall on Tuesday during a fundraisin­g concert, emceed by philanthro­pist W. Brett Wilson, far right, to benefit the Calgary Veterans Food Bank.
Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald The Canadian Tenors wooed the crowd at Jack Singer Concert Hall on Tuesday during a fundraisin­g concert, emceed by philanthro­pist W. Brett Wilson, far right, to benefit the Calgary Veterans Food Bank.

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