David Foster Foundation
2015 Miracle Gala and Concert
A glimmering fall sun drops over the skies of Toronto, painting the skyline in perfect silhouette. The city’s architecture is a striking blend of classic and modern…sleek glass and steel against brick and stone. The last rays spotlight an iconic Toronto structure…the Historic Maple Leaf Gardens, which tonight, has been transformed into a performing venue for a Canadian musical master. Sixteen-time Grammy winner David Foster is in town. The occasion: the 25th Annual David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala and Concert. The goal: raise six million dollars to fuel one of the nation’s most important philanthropic endeavors.
The centerpiece of the evening is a star-studded event, and there’s a special buzz in the air about the artists who have gathered to perform. In typical Foster style, the music line-up is also a mix of classic and modern. Stevie Wonder is here. Michael Bolton is here… and the great voice of the group Chicago, Peter Cetera is on board. Breaking Canadian artist Kiesza is on the bill, along with modern instrumental virtuosos Caroline Campbell and William Joseph. And…adding a big comic punch to the mix…Sinbad is back!
One after another, Canadian greats arrive, strolling the purple carpet to acknowledge the importance of the evening. Prime Ministers and Lieutenant Governors walk alongside music icons, hockey legends and the business elite.
Behind the scenes, the production team of Executive Visions is rehearsed and ready…a crew of 50 poised for a performance of their own. As Foster’s longtime producing partners, the team has been preparing for months, solving the technical and creative challenges presented by the famed hockey arena, and choreographing a musical experience not to be forgotten. As a glimpse of things to come, the team has crafted an opening number featuring Campbell and Joseph performing Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir on a dramatic 75-foot drop from the rafters.
Leading up to the concert, a poignant program illustrates the greatness of the foundation and supports the fund raising efforts. CNN’s Michaela Pereira and TV Host Ben Mulroney anchor the proceedings in classic form.
After the program…it’s pure show time. On top of being one of the world’s greatest composers and producers, David Foster is a master showman…and tonight, the Hitman lives up to his name. The show opens with Foster on his grand piano, delighting the crowd with “Winter Games”, his signature theme written for the Winter Olympics in Calgary.
Canadian pop and dance artist Kiesza follows with her full range of talent on display.
Music aficionados know about the relationship of Foster and Peter Cetera. The two have collaborated on some of the greatest pop hits ever recorded…like “You’re the Inspiration”, “Glory of Love”, and “Hard Habit to Break”. Accompanied by David’s all-star rhythm section, the duo performs a string of classics sounding as fresh as the day they topped the charts.
Taking the stage next was another of David’s long time collaborators, pop superstar Michael Bolton. Performing hits from their album “Timeless: The Classics”, Bolton showed why that record topped the Billboard charts and went on to sell over nine million copies.
Foster concerts are full of the unexpected, and what happened next will long be remembered by the 3,500 in attendance. Walking the floor between sets, David discovers one of the all time greats sitting quietly amongst the crowd. Gordon Lightfoot is in the house. With the insistence of Foster and the audience, Mr. Lightfoot humbly graced the stage with a beautiful and impromptu performance of “If You Could Read My Mind”.
If the songbook of the sixties was The Beatles, a major songbook of the seventies can be attributed to Stevie Wonder. A revolutionary artist on Berry Gordy’s Motown Records, Stevie came along at a time when the sound was shifting from fun loving R&B to the riskier commentary of social injustice. A melodic and lyrical genius, Wonder composed a gorgeous and complex catalog of music to inspire a generation. Unsurpassed love songs like “My Cheri Amour”, “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Overjoyed” complemented the grittier side of life portrayed by “Living for the City” and “Superstition”. Listening to him perform on this night proved the sharp perception and relevance of his messages.
David Foster continues to make a bold statement with his music. Alongside new genres and ideas…his brand of classic pop endures…inspiring a perfect harmony of joy and hope, a fitting underscore for the evening’s cause. In an equally bold statement, the group’s offerings have generously eclipsed the six million dollar goal, ensuring the support of hundreds of families facing the life changing realities of children in need of organ transplants.
EVI passionately supports its friend and mentor David Foster and the work of the David Foster Foundation.