The 519’s largest single-day fundraising event, The Annual Gala, will bring together leading performers for a virtual variety show of musical performances and special appearances in support of LGBTQ2S communities in Toronto and beyond. The event will be streamed on Sunday, October 25, at 7:30 pm (EST).

The Annual Gala has gone virtual in response to COVID-19, and will feature musical performances from:

John Alcorn ● Alan Cumming ● Molly Johnson ● k.d. lang ● Patti LuPone ● Billy Newton-Davis ● Louise Pitre ● Carole Pope ● Jackie Richardson ● Buffy Sainte-Marie ● Lorraine Segato● Theo Tams ● Ben Vereen

And some very special appearances from celebrity guests, including:

Jann Arden ● Margaret Atwood ● Barenaked Ladies ● Kim Cattrall ● Atom Egoyan & Arsinée Khanjian ● Norman Jewison ● Elton John & David Furnish ● John Greyson and Stephen Andrews ● Andrea Martin ● Kent Monkman ● Rick Mercer ● Ben Mulroney and more!

The 16th edition of this signature event is organized by The 519’s Honorary Patron Salah J. Bachir and hosted by Mathieu Chantelois, former Chair of The 519. The show will be a produced program of original pre-recorded performances and will also include some surprise appearances by several celebrity guests.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone, particularly for our communities, and now is the time to help,” explains Bachir. “Over the years, many of the performers who’ve participated in the Annual Gala became friends of The 519 and they have graciously offered to come back this year for this one-of-a-kind celebration.”

The common denominator between all of these performers is their care for The 519, but also their love for Salah Bachir,” says Stacy Kelly, Director, Philanthropy at The 519. “He’s a force of nature who brings people together like nobody else. Salah is celebrating his 65th birthday this month and many of the performers were looking for a way to celebrate with him and support The 519 with respect for public health guidelines. This virtual gala will help us achieve those goals in a safe manner.”

This year’s gala will be more inclusive than ever since we won’t be confined to the space limitations of The 519 ballroom. Everyone is welcome and can pay what they can to attend the event,” reminds Bachir.

The 519 relies heavily on funds raised through such events and other philanthropy initiatives. “The cancellation of 2020’s Green Space Festival due to COVID-19 resulted in significant loss of operating revenue. The 2020 Annual Gala is an opportunity to support The 519 and its essential programs and services for the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ2S communities”, says Maura Lawless, Executive Director of The 519.

The ticket price will go to support The 519’s essential programs and services for our communities and folks who purchase tickets would be sent a unique access link ahead of the show. The pay-what-you-can option also means that any donation amount is welcome. “We want as many people to join in,” says Dean Lobo, The 519’s Communications Coordinator.

The 519 2020 Gala – Sunday, October 25, 2020, 7:30 pm (EST)


  • VIP Ticket: $1,000 (CAD)
  • Regular Ticket: $150 (CAD)
  • Limited “Pay-What-You-Can” Tickets also available
  • Unique access link will be shared closer to the event.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.