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“Concert For Asia” set for Halifax, Tuesday, January 11th
(Wednesday, January 5, 2005) - Nova Scotian musicians are gearing up for a benefit concert to be held on Tuesday, January 11th at the Metro Centre in Halifax, beginning at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds raised will be directed towards aid organizations working in South East Asia in the wake of the Tsunami disaster.
The event is spearheaded by Asif Illyas, the frontman for the ECMA-nominated rock group MIR. Illyas and fellow band member Shehab Illyas are originally from Sri Lanka, with family roots in that country’s capital city Colombo. The benefit concert will feature a who’s who of the local music community. Confirmed acts include Mir, Crush, Lennie Gallant, Kaleb Simmonds (of Canadian Idol fame), Matt Mays, Bruce Guthro, members of Universal Soul, the Jimmy Swift Band, and classical cellist Denise Djokic. Offers from other well-known musicians are pouring in.
“The response so far has been tremendous,” says Illyas. “There are so many talented musicians eager to donate their talent for this cause. It promises to be a terrific show. The actual talent line up is evolving hour by hour, and will likely be added to right up until show time.”
The musicians are all volunteering their time and energy, and the effort required to mount the show is being assisted by the Halifax Regional Municipality and a number of local companies. “This concert has taken a lot of goodwill to pull together. The municipality, Sobeys, The CCL Group, CBC, the Centre for Diverse Visible Cultures and others have been incredibly supportive. We couldn’t mount this show without their support,” says Illyas.
Mayor Peter Kelly said “Nova Scotians are known internationally for our warmth, compassion and willingness to help those in time of need. The loss of life and devastation in southeast Asia is unprecedented. Thousands and thousands are homeless and in desperate need of the basics just to survive. HRM is pleased to make the Metro Centre available for this very worthy cause and we are proud to join with the Nova Scotian entertainers and local sponsors of this event in doing our part to help those in their time of crisis.”
Tickets for the event will be available starting tomorrow at participating Sobeys outlets (cash only) and the Metro Centre Box Office (or charge by phone at 902-451-1221) and are $10 each. Children under 12 will receive free admission. “We are keeping the ticket price low because we know that many people have already been very generous. We’d like the community to come together for this event, to raise money of course, but also to raise awareness about the incredible need that is going to persist in that part of the world for years to come, as people there try to rebuild their lives,” Illyas says.
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Additionally, Delta Hotels are offering a special Concert for Asia rate of $49 per night (with $20 going to the cause) for anyone attending the event from out of town.
As more details are worked out they will be released to the media. Stay tuned.
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For further information contact:
Andre Bourgeois (& to reach Asif Illyas)
Mayor Peter Kelly
CCL - Vice President Public Relations