Stronger Together: Canadian Celebrities to Stream (and Sing!) Together Sunday for Charity
Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble airs at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 26. Fans and viewers from around the globe can live-stream the event on CTV.ca, CBC.ca, and Globaltv.com
What do musicians Bublé, Bieber, The Barenaked Ladies, and Bryan Adams have in common (besides possessing ‘B’ names and simultaneously self-isolating)? They’re each proud to call Canada their ‘home-and-native’ land while also representing a handful of the more than 70 A-list artists, actors, and activists who’ll be live-streaming Sunday night from their respective remote locations in support of Canada’s food banks and its front-line workers battling the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The historic Canadian event entitled Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble (the French-language equivalent) will debut on the heels of last week’s successful and star-studded One World: Together at Home virtual global benefit hosted by Lady Gaga (with appearances made by Taylor Swift, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Oprah, among others) to raise money for, and awareness around, the critical issues facing healthcare workers as they brave the frontlines to fight the coronavirus.
Canada’s upcoming similar-themed (and streamed) show will include a creative mix of music and messages of hope and resilience from multiple personalities—including the ‘B’ boys mentioned above — as well as digital pop-ins from Ryan Reynolds, Amy Poehler, Eric McCormack, Jason Priestley, Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne, Mike Myers, David Foster, Kiefer Sutherland, Céline Dion, Howie Mandel, Shania Twain, and the cast of Schitt’s Creek, to name just a few more. Even dystopian bestselling author Margaret Atwood and guitar-strumming astronaut Chris Hadfield will be on hand for the event.
Sunday’s show will mark a ‘Part Deux’ performance for Grammy-Award winning crooner Michael Bublé, who also had lent his vocal support to One World. Today, Bublé joined a live Twitter press panel to promote Canada’s variety-show version while sharing his personal feelings on the impacts and unprecedented challenges this pandemic has presented for millions of Canadians, including his own family.
While he affirms that he and his wife Luisana Lopilato have been trying “to take more time to pray” — and watch less news —”we try to really just take it one day at a time, and that’s it.”
But, he admits his family is “scared.”
“We’re worried for our moms and dads and people that are vulnerable in our family. I know my wife is scared for her people in Argentina — and we just wanted to do anything we could,” Bublé said. “Just like every other family in our country, we have good days and we have bad days. We have moments where we’re uncertain, and we’re scared and we’re worried, and we just try to, you know, keep a positive, good perspective, and at the same time, we just want to be there, whenever we can, to do what we can, for the people that have given us so much.”
Bublé, 44, who shares his birthright city of Vancouver with actor Ryan Reynolds, said that while he and his family have been safely isolating, celebrities like himself have it easy compared to so many others less fortunate.
“We have privilege, we’re lucky, and it’s — in many cases — [because] of what our country’s given us,” the singer-songwriter said.
“I’m here safe with my kids and my wife, and I’m not worrying about having to get groceries … What I’m dealing with is nothing compared to what the doctors and nurses who are on the front lines are worried about…[and what] their own families are worried about.”
Bublé and Lopilato have an intimate familiarity with the medical system themselves, as their now 6-year old son, Noah, battled liver cancer from 2016-2018. (The couple are also parents to son Elias, 4, and daughter Vida, 21 months.)
“[That] was a big reason why my wife and I got so involved. We were driving one day early on, before this was massive news, and we were talking about all the people that were going through medical issues where …they were more vulnerable, and my wife and I just cried about it,” he told PEOPLE.
“The same things that our healthcare specialists have been asking us to do, I think, are just as important today; I think we need to stay strong and hold the fort down by making sure that we social distance, and making sure that, when you can — if you can — not just support our people in healthcare, and support this beautiful Holy Grail of a healthcare system, but at the same time be there for people that are vulnerable.”
Food Banks Canada Chief Development and Partnerships Officer Tania Little said that every month 1.1 million Canadians feel the pressure of not having enough food to eat. The current pandemic has obviously made things far more grim and dire. She added that her organization kicked off its relief-effort campaign five weeks ago with a goal to raise $150 million — which will, effectively, provide three months’ supply of items to food banks across her country to provide for people in need.
“We’re very fortunate to work in such a caring nation where so many wonderful organizations can partner to address issues of food insecurity in this country,” said Little. “And, I’ll tell you, now more than ever, we’ve banded together to provide that support for Canadians in need.”
With the “overarching theme” of the show being “hope and optimism” Little said she wants Canadian viewers to “watch with awareness,” while, hopefully, becoming inspired to donate in support of Canada’s multiple local food banks coast-to-coast as they navigate the multiple organizational challenges — namely, not having enough food or volunteer staff — brought on by COVID-19.
For his part, Reynolds did Canada’s food banks a solid two weeks ago when he donated $4,000 to the Edmonton Food Bank—part of his and wife Blake Lively’s $1 million donation to food banks across both that country and the U.S. (The Rookie star Nathan Fillion also shelled out $5,000 to the same Edmonton not-for-profit.)
Bublé said he feels a “duty and responsibility” to help out in Sunday’s relief efforts.
“It’s funny, my wife will say to me … ‘Mike, when does it end?’ and I wish there was some magic answer. Because, for the first time in history — not just in all of Canada, [but in] the whole wide world, it doesn’t matter what color, [or] what religion you are, whether you’re gay or straight, rich or poor — every single person is scared and uncertain, and there is no answer, and all we can do is try to love each other … and take it a day at a time, and keep perspective and, hopefully, with things like this [event] people will have food.”
Bublé recalled the 2010 Winter Olympics hosted by his (and Reynolds’) beloved hometown of Vancouver. At the time, he felt he’d seen Canadian artists and athletes “put on one of the greatest Olympics that anyone had ever seen.”
Until now, that is.
“Ten years ago, we watched our country come together — all our artists, our athletes … We pulled together as a country and we blew the world away. For me it’s very emotional to see that 10 years later, under much different circumstances, our country is going to show its mettle once again, and we’re going to show the world what great Canadian firepower is all about — and how resilient and how strong and how much love we have.
… it doesn’t get more emotional than having all these incredibly talented people come together and do it once again — something completely different — probably a lot more important.”
While Bublé hasn’t spilled any tea on what rhythmic tricks he has up his sleeve for Sunday, he did say that when it comes to planning a performance from home while self-isolating, “it’s definitely a lot more low-tech.”
Citing some of the ‘amazing’ work he’s done recently with bands like The Barenaked Ladies and other artists, he added, “I watch all these people putting things together at home, and in their kids’ bedrooms, or offices, where maybe they’ve never done this before. And, while it may not be as perfect as a studio setting, I think the heart is there.”
On Thursday, Bublé announced on Twitter he was combining his quarantine duties with work on a new album — his 11th since dropping 2018’s Love that November — and, on Instagram Live earlier in the week, fans got a chance to witness the shared singing chops of his daughter when she spontaneously appeared on-screen to help duet with her dad in a hilarious ‘family take’ version of Camila Cabello‘s and Shawn Mendes’ (another Canadian) song of the summer, “Señorita,” followed by a quick rendition by the pair of “I Like to Move It.”
Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble airs at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 26. Fans and viewers from around the globe can live-stream the event on CTV.ca, CBC.ca, and Globaltv.com.