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Bruce Cockburn, along with many other Canadian artists will be performing at a benefit concert and a telethon.

10 January 2005 -

CBC Plans Telethon

A celebrity-packed prime-time benefit to be carried nationwide next week on CBC-TV and Radio One aims to raise millions of dollars for the victims of the Asian tsunamis and the rebuilding of devastated communities.

Organizers of the hastily organized telethon, scheduled for Thursday, announced yesterday they have secured the participation of numerous musicians, artists and performers for the three-hour, commercial-free broadcast, including Margaret Atwood, Bryan Adams, Don Cherry, Cynthia Dale, Blue Rodeo, Anne Murray, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, Oscar Peterson, Bruce Cockburn, Barenaked Ladies, Daniel Lanois, Rush, Jann Arden, Tom Cochrane, Molly Johnson, Marc Jordan and Murray McLauchlan.

The program, called Canada for Asia, will be hosted from CBC's Toronto broadcasting centre by sportscaster Ron McLean, comedian Rick Mercer and actor Sonia Benezra. It will feature a contribution from Celine Dion, taped prior to her performance that evening at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

The benefit will air as a live broadcast in Atlantic Canada and run tape-delayed to the rest of the country starting at 7 p.m. in each time zone. Viewers and listeners will be asked to make donations for tsunami relief via a toll-free number or on the Internet at

From - Globe and Mail, By James Adams, Saturday, January 8, 2005 - Page A4.

Editors Note: This telethon is tenatively scheduled for Thursday, 13 January 2005. The Tsunami benefit concert will be broadcast on the web on CBC Radio One, ( The time is 7pm in each time zone, except the Atlantic provinces.

Relief Concert

OTTAWA - A who's-who roster of Canadian musicians will headline two fundraising concerts to aid tsunami victims in Vancouver and Calgary including Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and Barenaked Ladies.The concerts, to be held at the end of January, may be the biggest of a host of benefits and donations being scratched together in the entertainment industry, including a CBC telethon also expected to feature major Canadian music acts.

The Vancouver and Calgary benefit concerts, to be announced today, are the brainchild of Terry McBride, the president of Vancouver-based Nettwerk Records, who said he started planning just hours after the tsunami hit on Dec. 26 and had booked Vancouver's GM Place a week later.

"People are coming back from their holidays and breaks and they're coming in to do this," Mr. McBride said. He said the reaction from the musicians was, "Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. It was 'tell me what I have to do.""

The Vancouver show, on Jan. 29 will include headliners Lavigne, McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, singer Chantal Kreviazuk and her husband Raine Maida, of Our Lady Peace fame.

While Lavigne has not yet signed on for the Calgary concert, singer Bruce Cockburn is scheduled to appear at that show at Calgary's Saddledome on Jan 31.

Proceeds from the show will go to Oxfam, Care Canada, Doctors Without Borders, and War Child.
[Editors Note: Bruce Cockburn has supported many of these organizations for many years, for a full list please visit our, Issues Section.

Those concerts are likely to follow a concert-telethon being organized by MuchMusic executive Denise Donlon and expected to be televised on the CBC.

Author Margaret Atwood was instrumental in putting together that event -- she received a call from a politician in Ottawa she would not name, and contacted singer Molly Johnson to try to start the ball rolling.

"I'm just a go-between," Atwood said yesterday, joking that she will not be singing. She said that she and other well-known Canadians have offered to appear as telethon presenter. Other donations from the Canadian entertainment industry have also been announced. CHUM Ltd., CBC, CTV, The Globe and Mail and music celebrities from Anne Murray to Jann Arden and Tom Cochrane are stepping forward to help raise money.

The 32 radio and 33 television stations of CHUM partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to designate yesterday as Disaster Relief Day. Viewers and listeners were urged to call a toll-free number (1-800-810-1408) that will remain open for the next week. On-line donations were also welcomed at

The radio stations' day-long drive included hourly public-service announcements and interviews with Red Cross staff. There were also radio and TV appearances by Arden, Cochrane, Murray McLauchlan and the Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson, among others.

"Over the holidays, a few of us got together and thought it might be a good idea to put the forces of radio and television together and do what we could," said Paul Ski, CHUM's executive vice-president for radio.

CTV and The Globe and Mail announced a corporate contribution of $75,000 to the Red Cross on Tuesday.

CHUM also announced a corporate donation of $100,000 to the Red Cross to kick off its relief initiative. As of noon yesterday, $750,000 had been raised from public donations.

"Our intention [is] really just to let all of our listeners and viewers know this is an easy way to contribute," said CHUM Radio Ottawa vice-president and general manager Chris Gordon, adding that CHUM never thought of setting a financial goal.

"We're just hoping people hear the message and respond."

In an interview on CHUM's CablePulse 24 news channel, Cochrane conceded that in the weeks ahead, donor fatigue will set in but that more money will still be needed.

"It's not going to be a problem that's going to go away in two or three weeks," the singer said. "It's a natural disaster, but if one person dies because of disease or because of malnutrition because of this, then shame on us."

CBC Radio is planning a disaster-relief special for today. The network's morning shows are to provide news from the sites of the tsunami disaster as well as updates on how Canadians can help. In addition, discussions are under way for a special CBC-TV broadcast, possibly on Jan. 13, that may be simulcast on the radio network as well.

Meanwhile, singer Anne Murray has made a "generous" donation to Care Canada, which bills itself as the country's leading non-sectarian international humanitarian organization. Spokeswoman Melanie Brooks said from Ottawa that the staff was stunned when Murray called.

"She was just saying how touched she was and how impressed she was by Canadians' generosity and how she was happy to do whatever she could to help."

Brooks said the Canadian singing icon told them to keep up the great work.

"Everybody was just practically jumping, we were so excited," she said, adding that Murray had chosen Care Canada because "she heard we did good work." - by Campbell Clark, Globe and Mail, with a report from Canadian Press.

~bobbi wisby

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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.