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'Très Hot' Entertainment Line-Up to Make The Stage For AIDS 5 Go 'Pop Si-Cool'

Stage For AIDS 5
AN eclectic live mix of accomplished Canadian talent has ben lined up to perform at this year's Stage For AIDS on Friday June 2nd.

The gala event in support of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, which is marking its 15th year of delivering services, will again be presented at the National Arts Centre (NAC) with Labatt the lead sponsor.

This year's line-up is billed as "top young Canadian artists, who, collectively, make up a wonderfully diverse live mix of outstanding and 'très hot' talent."  Performances by contemporary musical artists will cause the Stage For AIDS 5 to be 'Pop Si-Cool.'

"The emphasis has gone towards younger pop artists," said producer Michael Tabbitt of the NAC, which is associated with the AIDS Committee of Ottawa production.  Mr. Tabbitt stated that traditional theatrical acts will be returning as well.

"It's always a fun event," he continued, and described a large social element to the upcoming evening with no increase in ticket prices.  People who seriously support the mission of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa should consider the Gala Buddies option in their ticket purchasing decision, he suggested.  That selection includes a champagne pre-show reception.

A total of 11 artists are billed in the show co-produced by Majic100's Program Director Kent Newson.  All artists donate their time and talent to the fundraiser.  Additional sponsors are Capital Xtra!, Iridium Creative Marketing & Design, Majic100, the Ottawa Citizen, and The Westin Hotel Ottawa.  Honourary Co-Chairs are Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Regional Councillor Madeleine Meilleur.  The on-stage co-hosts have yet to be announced.

J. Gaines & The Soul Attorneys  (SONY MUSIC CANADA)
The line-up from the producer

On the traditional theatrical side are:

  • The energetic choreography of Les Ballets Jazz to be featured in a work entitled 'No Strings Attached,'
  • The breathtaking virtuosity of each of the 4 musicians of Quartetto Gelato, described as a winning combination on any stage,
  • Martin Dube, with over 400 impersonations, who will entertain the audience in both French and English,
  • And two gym shorts -clad muscular trim men, with the Cirque de Soleil for a short time, who will perform a hypnotic - if not erotic - gymnastics influenced choreography piece.  'Seeing is believing' with this pair called Acrobazia, really.

On the pop musical programme are:

  • The Juno award-winning Johnny Favorite who will swing the NAC's Southam Hall with his 9-piece band,
  • The Juno-nominated Mary Jane Lamond who takes time honoured Gaelic sounds to new often-modern levels,
  • The fun-loving yet thoughtful and insightful 'puzzle girl' Kim Stockwood whose debut Bonavista reached the gold sales level,
  • Sony recording artists J. Gaines and the Soul Attorneys, whose soul sound received extensive radio and video airplay nation wide with their first CD, certified gold after touring with Celine Dion, and
  • To cap off the show what is described as one of the nation's hottest new bands - superstars of Canada poised to be our next big export, and fresh from having signed an international deal with Universal Music:  soulDecision.

From the local talent scene will be the Ottawa Gay Men's Chorus and Dixie Landers, Miss Gay Pride 1999-2000.

Flagship Fundraiser

The Stage For AIDS is the AIDS Committee of Ottawa's most important fundraising initiative.

"Government funding has been cut or frozen but the spread of the HIV virus continues," stated Executive Director Lise Ladouceur.  "Providing services which help maintain personal dignity and support people as they face the challenges of HIV is important," she said, and explained that the Stage For AIDS is a way of ensuring that the population of Ottawa-Carleton receives services to which they are entitled.

"Last year the show netted $60,000 but we're hoping to add to that this year," Ms. Ladouceur said, in order to permit the agency to enhance its services and do more.

"There are close to 2000 people with HIV in Ottawa-Carleton," declared Ottawa mayor and Stage For AIDS Honourary Co-Chair Jim Watson.  "Over 400 people have died since 1983," he added.

We're doing this to celebrate the ACO and bring their mission to life.
- Sarah Wood
The problem remains with us, the Mayor explained, as government funding has not kept up with what it should be.  The AIDS Committee of Ottawa has rallied to provide services, including ones of prevention.  "And that requires money," the Mayor stated, not mincing words.

"They're already pushed to the limit," described Sarah Wood of the agency, who organizes volunteers, puts together sponsorships and coordinates media relations for the Stage For AIDS - and is a volunteer herself.  "[They have] an increased load because of the variety of people becoming infected and people living longer.

"The volunteer element is everything," continued Ms. Wood in describing the Stage For AIDS production.  About 50 people have donated their time so far and another 50 are expected the week of the show - for hospitality and other tasks, she explained.

It's not too late to volunteer, however.  People with time available during the day are needed to increase the show's awareness, particularly with the francophone community.  "We want to reach them in a way we haven't before," Ms. Wood said.

People interested in volunteering with The Stage For AIDS production are urged to call the AIDS Committee of Ottawa at (613) 238-5014.

"We're doing this to celebrate the ACO and bring their mission to life," concluded Ms. Wood.

Tickets for The Stage For AIDS are available at the NAC box office and through TicketMaster at (613) 755-1111.  Prices are $25, $50, and $75 and include a post-show reception.  Gala Buddies tickets are available only from the ACO for $125 and include a champagne pre-show reception.