Toronto launches weekly virtual concert series to support the local music industry

Jan 6 2021, 1:52 pm

Toronto’s City Hall Live Spotlight featuring online performances kicks off with award-winning Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta next week.

According to the city, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, they are launching the City Hall Live Spotlight, a weekly live-streamed concert series, as part of ShowLoveTO, in order “to support the local music industry and provide Toronto residents with music experiences at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Residents are encouraged to join in on the fun, order their favourite take out and enjoy the concert from the comfort of their own home.

“Music is a universal language that can be enjoyed by all. During a time in which we need to support homegrown talent and our music industry, we are giving people an opportunity to experience music from the comfort of their own home,” said Mayor John Tory in the release.

“The new City Hall Live Spotlight series will not only help lift spirits but will encourage us all to keep supporting our hard-hit music industry, which is a vital component of our economy and will come back strong when the pandemic is over.”

According to the news release, City Hall Live Spotlight is set to feature professionally produced live-streamed videos of Toronto musicians who would be performing at closed music venues and other affected music-related businesses around the city.

They will each be accompanied by a brief introduction to the location and its role in Toronto’s music industry.

“Whether it is tax relief for live music venues or paid performance opportunities for Toronto musicians, we must continue to find new ways to support Toronto’s music industry. Our night economy depends on it, and we must act now to ensure that we have something to return to when the pandemic is over,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson.

The City Hall Live Spotlight starts on January 14 at 7:30 p.m. online, live-streamed from the Phoenix Concert Theatre and is set to run weekly into spring.

The stream’s first performance will feature Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta, a Grammy Award nominee for her 2020 album Miss Colombia and winner of the 2017 Polaris Music Prize for her album La Papessa, according to the city.

Residents will be able to watch the performances through the City Hall Live Spotlight web page and on HappinApp, a Toronto-based live streaming platform.

“We are so excited and incredibly proud to once again partner with the City of Toronto for the City Hall Live Spotlight series,” said Amanda Power, Executive Director at Unison Benevolent Fund.

“Not only will the series continue to support and promote local, emerging musicians through the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also continue to raise valuable funding that will ensure Canadian music-makers and their families have access to life-changing counselling services and emergency financial assistance under these complicated circumstances.”

Viewers can choose to make a donation during the performances, with 100% of the donations supporting the Unison Benevolent Fund’s work to help musicians and music industry workers in crisis.