Piano teacher organizes music-filled charity gala
On May 6, a group of mental health experts and musical performers, including pop singer Dan Hill, will gather at the Flato Markham Theatre in support of those suffering from mental illness and their families.
The executive director of High Notes Avante and Thornhill resident, Ingrid Taheri, has been working to erase the stigma of mental illness since 2014, after a mental health crisis in her family inspired her to help others. Their annual High Notes gala balances musical performances with TED Talks–style mental health advocates and psychologists.
This will be their third gala. Their first was attended by 160 and their second gala garnered 600 attendees.
“We’re not only preaching to those who are suffering. We are also preaching to their families because they have to understand that this is real, this is not just something you can snap out of,” said Taheri.
Taheri works as a proofreader and a piano teacher by day. For her, a sense of purpose comes from the community around High Notes Avante.
“It’s about giving hope and inspiring people and about proving that we have all been touched by it,” said Taheri. “We really try to show that a lot of people do move forward after mental illness, so we want those stories to be heard.”