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After spending time in a hospital last week due to a foot injury, Drake on Sunday night saluted front-line hospital workers during a star-studded Canadian musical event, Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble, while Justin Bieber announced he’s self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic in his native Ontario.
“Just to see the morale, the smiles, the high spirits on everyone’s face that I got to encounter in that situation, despite everything going on, it’s inspiring to see people leave their families every day and go to work amid this crisis, as dangerous as it is. … So thank you for that,” Drake told Canadians while appearing from his Toronto home.
Bieber, who appeared alongside his wife Hailey Baldwin Bieber, added during his own TV cameo: “We are sending our love and prayers. We are going to get through this together.”
After the earlier One World: Together at Home U.S. broadcast event last weekend, Canadian artists like Celine Dion, Michael Bublé and Alessia Cara combined for their own star-studded broadcast event to urge donations to local food banks and to celebrate front-line workers battling the novel coronavirus.
Bublé opened the TV show with Barenaked Ladies and Sofia Reyes as they performed “Gotta Be Patient, Enjoy the Confination!” The 90-minute music event celebrated front-line workers and urged viewers to donate to the Food Banks Canada charity.
After her performance of the single “Courage,” Dion saluted front-line workers like doctors, nurses and grocery store employees: “These people have families and loved ones who they’re worried about. And they still go out to serve us and save us. … Let us take care of each other.”
Sarah McLachlan performed “Blackbird” from her couch; Grammy winner Alessia Cara sang “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” from Toy Story; David Foster played “Love Theme From St. Elmo’s Fire” from his home; and Anne Murray introduced a rendition of “Rise Again” sung by a montage of health care workers nationwide appearing via Zoom.
Vancouver-raised Ryan Reynolds offered hope with his own message of resolve to Canadians: “If there’s one thing Canada is good at, it’s taking care of one another,” the Deadpool star said.
Shania Twain performed a parody of her popular single “Up,” before recalling that her family accessed food banks when she was a child. “I love you, Canada. We’re going to get through this together,” she said.
Eric McCormack, Howie Mandel, Kiefer Sutherland, the cast of Schitt’s Creek, Mike Myers, former Band member Robbie Robertson and The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood also made appearances during the event, which simultaneously aired across all major Canadian networks.
Jason Priestley appeared to say his family had cleaned out every closet in their home while self-isolating, and Will Arnett said from his own living room that he hadn’t showered in a month and it didn’t really matter, just before ex-wife Amy Poehler popped up to say, “Actually, it kind of does, Will.”
Arnett and Poehler then both donned protective medical masks and urged Canadians to persevere to help flatten the virus curve: “Do whatever you can — all our love to you, Canada. Stay safe.”
Other Canadian stars made appearances while sheltering in their Los Angeles homes. Howie Mandel appeared from under his bed while playing hide-and-seek as he and his family self-isolate: “We’re all in this together. These are trying times. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Around 44 TV, radio and streaming platforms, including the CTV, CBC and CityTV networks, presented the commercial-free TV special.
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