Brett Kissel and Safeway Canada raise more than $70,000 for Food Banks Alberta through First-Ever Drive-In Country Music Concert Series

Country music, community and charity unite to support Albertans who need it most

EDMONTON, AB, July 10, 2020 /CNW/ - The power of music struck a memorable chord in Alberta last month with the history-making launch of "Brett Kissel – Live at the Drive-In." A first-of-its-kind, social-distanced drive-in country music concert series, the event from Brett Kissel and Safeway Canada raised funds for Food Banks Alberta. Thanks to Safeway Canada's support and Albertans' generosity, one hundred per cent of the event's ticket sales went to Food Banks Alberta and Enoch Cree Nation, garnering a total donation of more than $70,000.

Logo: Safeway/Brett Kissel (CNW Group/Sobeys Inc.)
Logo: Safeway/Brett Kissel (CNW Group/Sobeys Inc.)

Beyond the donation to Food Banks Alberta, Safeway Canada and Brett Kissel dedicated two exclusive drive-in concerts to frontline heroes to show appreciation for their tireless work. The two events drew 360 guest-vehicles and included store employees, emergency responders, frontline healthcare workers and community partners from the Edmonton Food Bank and Food Banks Alberta.

Demand for the concert series quickly exceeded expectations, resulting in eight sold-out shows in under an hour. Due to the strong interest, Stingray Country Radio broadcast the live country music event across Canada, allowing Canadians from coast to coast to tune in safely at home.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of being a musician is bringing people from different backgrounds and places together to celebrate our shared love of music. Music has an incredible ability to heal, and it's pained me to have to press pause on performing before live audiences," said Kissel. "It was important to me, in these tough times, to create a unique drive-in concert experience that would brighten spirits, show appreciation for our courageous frontline workers and raise money for people in need. I cannot put into words how appreciative I am for all the support we've received, which allowed us to raise over $70,000 for Food Banks Alberta. I am beyond grateful to have shared this experience with Safeway and my fellow Albertans. That collective energy was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling I will never forget."

"Brett Kissel - Live at the Drive-In" is one example of how Safeway Canada has helped local communities through its Community Action Fund since the onset of the pandemic. Safeway Canada has leveraged the fund to inject millions of dollars into communities across Western Canada to support local food banks, frontline heroes, food-insecure students and dozens of essential community organizations.

"At Safeway Canada, we are committed to helping local communities by working together to create positive, lasting change. This crisis has had a detrimental impact on Canada's food banks, which face enormous financial strain and limited resources," said Sandra Sanderson, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sobeys Inc. "By partnering with Brett on this unique concert series, we were able to support Food Banks Alberta and inspire Canadians to help out their neighbours in need. We are tremendously proud of the results of our partnership with Brett, and hope the concerts serve as a continued reminder of the positive difference we can make in our communities when we come together as one."

"We are immensely grateful for Brett Kissel and Safeway Canada's support, which helps us enable our food bank network in their ability to provide critical services to vulnerable Albertans and their families," said Arianna Johnson, Senior Projects Manager, Food Banks Alberta. "The $70,000 raised will support 97 food banks across Alberta, and gives us immediate flexibility to ensure those dollars go to areas of the organization that need it most. We're tremendously appreciative to have partners like Brett Kissel and Safeway Canada, who help ensure our organization can support the work of our food bank members, in their efforts to feed and care for those in need in their local communities."

Additionally, just over $10,000 of the total monies raised will go to the Enoch Cree Nation Food Bank via Mechet Charities, the charity of the River Cree Resort and Casino, hosts of 'Brett Kissel – Live at the Drive-In'.

The event captured the essence of Brett Kissel's "Tough Times Don't Last, Tough People Do," an anthem of hope that Brett re-recorded as a tribute to frontline workers and people around the world navigating the challenges put forward by the Covid-19 pandemic. The video for "Tough People Do (2020 Piano Version)" premieres today: https://youtu.be/08dSkCLjXVQ.

To learn more about the event visit drivein.brettkissel.com.

ABOUT SOBEYS INC. Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians since 1907. Sobeys Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP-A.TO - News), owns, affiliates or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, Farm Boy and Lawtons Drugs as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys, its franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 127,000 people. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

Safeway and Brett Kissel Drive-In Concert (CNW Group/Sobeys Inc.)
Safeway and Brett Kissel Drive-In Concert (CNW Group/Sobeys Inc.)
Brett Kissel (CNW Group/Sobeys Inc.)
Brett Kissel (CNW Group/Sobeys Inc.)

SOURCE Sobeys Inc.

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