This exceptional night of music will feature intimate performances from The National, Hayden, Kevin Drew, Max Kerman (of Arkells) and Terra Lightfoot, along with cameo showcases from Crystal Journey and Mother Tareka. All participants are donating their time and talent to raise funds for music, arts and recreation programs for Syrian youth who are newcomers to Hamilton, Ontario.
Hosted by Ralph Benmergui, this special event will take place on Friday, June 3 in the heart of Hamilton at New Vision United Church (24 Main St. W., Hamilton, Ontario). The event was conceived of by Brandon and Amanda Reid; Brandon is The National’s manager and a Hamilton resident.
Tickets to Welcome to Hamilton are general admission and $100 each, available as of 10:00am Friday, May 13 online through Ticketfly.com as well as directly from bricks-and-mortar retailers Dr. Disc (20 Wilson St., Hamilton), Revolution Records (166 Ottawa St. N., Hamilton) and 11:00am Friday, May 13 at Picks & Sticks Music (140 Locke St. S., Hamilton). There will be a limit of four (4) tickets per person.
All of the event’s proceeds will go to fund music, art and recreation programs for newcomer youth in Hamilton and will be dispensed by Wesley Urban Ministries. The agency supports the resettlement of refugees and offers a range of services that assists newcomers in their settlement and integration into Canadian society.
While Syria’s civil war has raged since 2011, the crisis reached a tipping point last year, with an estimated 4.6 million Syrians displaced by conflict in their home country. The exodus represents the world’s single largest refugee crisis in almost a quarter-century, and it has challenged people around the world to help.
Canada has welcomed nearly 27,000 Syrian refugees to date, with Hamilton settling roughly 1,200 of those (more than half of whom are children). Welcome to Hamilton aims to support programs that help these newcomers feel welcomed — inclusive programming that offers newcomer youth opportunities to interact with Canadian kids. Programs supported will be administered by community organizations Centre3 for Print and Media Arts, Soccer World, and An Instrument for Every Child.