Fun evening raises $85,000 for vets

Calgary Herald - - ENTERTAINMENT - 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.

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