The 2nd annual The Organ Project gala took place on March 28th, 2018 at the Fairmont Royal York. It was another successful sold out gala for the organization with a star-studded musical lineup.

Angelica Hale

Angelica Hale

 

The Organ Project is a non-profit organization with the goal of reducing wait times for life-saving organs. The organization is founded by organ transplant recipient Eugene Melnyk, who is also the owner of the Ottawa Senators. According to Melnyk, “Right now, it is equal to a person dying about every 30 hours in Canada while waiting for a transplant. I have seen that first-­‐hand and, through The Organ Project, I want to make it stop. We want to change public perception of the issue of organ donation and encourage more people to register as organ donors.”

10-year-old Angelica Hale sang 3 songs with so much energy and enthusiasm with her big voice. She sang Rise Up (Andra Day), Girl on Fire (Alicia Keys), What About Us (Pink). She had a kidney transplant at the age of 4 and was a finalist in the 12th season of America’s Got Talent.

Mental health advocate Michael Landsberg (formerly TSN’s Off The Record) is always a great emcee.

Among a few of the special speakers was Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders. Saunders is a recent kidney recipient of his wife, Stacey, who stood beside him on stage. Vibrantly, she said said your body only needs one kidney which was greeted with much applause.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and his spouse

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and his wife, Stacey

 

Chantal Kreviazuk gave us a taste of her dynamic voice and also provided plenty of unlikely comedic relief. Nothing less than extraordinary for an Order of Canada recipient.

Chantal Kreviazuk

Chantal Kreviazuk

 

The Barenaked Ladies put on an energetic performance that got the crowd on their feet singing and dancing. Tables were even cleared to make more room – something I don’t usually see at the many charity dinner galas I’ve attended over the past 6 years. Guests had such a great time with all the nostalgic hits that they chanted for an encore and got it. I was hoping with the recent news that Steven Page joined the band at this year’s JUNO awards that they would have naturally been reunited as well at this show, but alas he wasn’t. Ah well, they still put on an amazing show which got me staying until the very end.

The Barenaked Ladies

The Barenaked Ladies

 

The first Organ Project gala last year landed in Toronto with a big splash headlined by Carrie Underwood.

Funds raised for The Organ Project go to marketing activities encouraging registration for organ donation. For more info about The Organ Project and how easy it is to register as an organ donor, please visit theorganproject.net

You can also visit the Government of Ontario’s Trillium Be a Donor website here

Photos by Nick Lee

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