The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing new meaning to Ontario-based LOFT Community Services’ annual Home for the Holiday Benefit Concert. The long-standing charity is set to mark its 30th season with a virtually streamed offering on Thursday, December 10th at 7:30pm EST. But given the fast spread of COVID-19 through the province, LOFT has decided to move the concert online to focus on everyone’s safety and to bring much-needed holiday cheer to people’s homes.
There will be both familiar and new faces lighting up screens to delight audiences at home in the name of an outstanding cause: Juno-nominated and chart-topping jazz master Micah Barnes is set to co-host, headline, and serve as artistic director for the hour-long event. He will also perform with The Gospel Quintet — former Nylons alums Billy Newton-Davis, Gavin Hope, Mark Cassius and Jeremiah Sparks.
“I’m excited to be hosting, and it’s especially sweet to be performing with some of my fellow former Nylons,” says Barnes, whose relationship with LOFT goes back to 2012. “Serving as artistic director for the annual LOFT Community Services concert is my way of supporting the incredible work LOFT does by providing housing and support to those in my community most at risk. The need during this pandemic has never been greater.”
Pre-recorded from Koerner Hall, the event will feature performances from Jackie Richardson, Hogtown Brass, Vanessa Sears, Thom Allison, Curtis Sullivan and Ma-Anne Dionisio. Tabby Johnson returns to co-host with Barnes, and Diane Leah will serve as musical director. Award-winning TV producer David Kitching produces the show.
“This year, we’ll be celebrating 30 years of a benefit that helps make LOFT’s work possible,” says Mona Lee-Tam, senior director of development and communications. “Our Home for the Holidays Concert is our signature fundraising event, and an important opportunity to showcase the incredible impact of our community and the urgent need for ongoing support. This year, audiences will have the opportunity to make a special holiday donation alongside their ticket purchase, which will go to work straight away helping LOFT offer compassion and unwavering support to the most vulnerable people.”
LOFT is known for its extensive work in the community to promote recovery and independence for those coping with complex mental and physical health challenges, addictions, poverty, homelessness, and more. This year, more than ever, LOFT’s clients need all the support they can get.
Tickets cost $50 per household and are available HERE.