Sounds of the Season, CBC Toronto’s annual holiday charity event, got underway Friday with an all-star list of performers and more than $219,082 and 9,950 pounds of food for local food banks.
By 5 a.m., the Canadian Broadcasting Centre on Front Street West was packed with people who came to enjoy a musical lineup that includes singer Nelly Furtado and Canadian hip-hop icon Wes Maestro Williams.
The performances began at 5:30 a.m. in Glenn Gould Studio, where CBC’s Metro Morning held a special broadcast with host Matt Galloway.
In addition to being entertained, the crowd also came to donate. By 5 p.m., Sounds of the Season had already raised $219,082 and 9,950 pounds in food donations.
Corporate donors were particularly generous, with TD Bank and BMO both contributing $10,000 to the campaign. Scotiabank, RBC Manulife Financial and CIBC then stepped up to match those donations.
Later on Friday, CBC Toronto News will also have a special show with hosts Dwight Drummond and Anne-Marie Mediwake broadcasting from the Broadcast Centre Atrium.
Throughout the day in the atrium, CBC personalities will be on hand to meet visitors, including special appearances and book signings from award-winning CBC Radio hosts and authors Jian Ghomeshi from Q, and Stuart McLean from The Vinyl Café.
There is also a silent auction, where visitors can bid on a host of prize packages, with proceeds going to local food banks.
Gail Nyberg, the food bank spokesperson for Sounds of the Season, said the event is crucial for food banks across the Greater Toronto Area.
"Sounds of the Season is a great way for us to fight hunger and help those in need in Toronto’s diverse communities, especially during this time of year," she said.
Susan Marjetti, managing director of CBC Toronto, said the event has a huge impact.
"This success shows what happens when we all come together to raise money for a worthy cause," she said.
Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at the CBC Toronto building entrances anytime between now and Dec. 31.