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Update: AHF taps country star for annual fundraiser

The Airdrie Health Foundation (AHF) has called on the talents of country music star Brett Kissel as the main event for its biggest fundraiser of the year.
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Brett Kissel will livestream an acoustic performance Oct. 3 to support the Airdrie Health Foundation. Photo Submitted/For Airdrie City View

Update, Sept 21: According to Michelle Bates, executive director and co-founder of the Airdrie Health Foundation, tickets for Brett Kissel's online acoustic concert – the headlining event of this year's Light Up the Night fundraiser – are now free thanks to sponsor support. Tickets are available at eventbrite.ca by searching "Light Up the Night."

The Airdrie Health Foundation (AHF) has called on the talents of country music star Brett Kissel for the main event of its biggest fundraiser of the year.

“Anything that involves charity and great Albertan causes is something I really want to get involved in,” Kissel said. “We are going to do something very special with this show in particular. Everyone needs to understand every penny is going to an incredible cause.”

Kissel will perform a solo acoustic set that will be livestreamed during AHF’s annual Light Up the Night event Oct. 3. Michelle Bates, executive director and co-founder of AHF, said the online concert is quite different than what the foundation has offered at past fundraising events.

“Normally we have a really nice black-tie gala event,” she said. “Because of COVID-19, we can’t have the in-person gala like we usually have, so we needed to think outside the box.”

According to Kissel, he has more freedom when he can perform with just his guitar.

“There is an opportunity to tell a lot of stories,” he said. “When it is me and my guitar, I have the ability to truly just be myself.”

Kissel also said using music for the fundraiser will be a way of bringing people closer together in a time when everyone is fighting their own battles.

“Even though it will be online and it will be different, I am extremely proud to be an artist that has an opportunity to bring everyone together,” he said.

Kissel has grown to become one of Canada’s premier country talents. According to the singer’s website, brettkissel.com, he garners more than 400,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and has toured with Garth Brooks, one of country music's most successful artists.

While Light Up the Night – now in its seventh year – will conclude with Kissel’s virtual acoustic performance, it also features a two-week slate of events leading up to the online concert.

AHF hopes to raise $80,000 to support local palliative care and to pay for a dash monitor and renovations at the Airdrie Community Health Centre.

“I don’t know if we will reach our goal, but we are trying,” Bates said. “Now we just need the community to come together and support.”

The fundraising started Sept. 20 with an online auction that will run until Oct. 4. Auction items include dance tuition to Airdrie’s Ambition Performing Arts, jewelery and a year of house cleaning and jewellery, among other items.

On Sept. 21, AHF will host a virtual art night. Participants will receive an art kit and guided instruction from artist Verone Solilo.

An online winemaker’s lunch will take place Sept. 27 with a presentation by wine experts Filipa Pato and William Wouters, who will join remotely from Portugal. A winemaker's dinner will follow on Oct. 2 with a presentation by Argentinian winemaker Stephanie Morton-Small. Anyone who purchases tickets for either event will receive a number of bottles of wine and a meal.

Individual tickets for each event can be found at eventbrite.ca by searching "Light Up the Night."

Jordan Stricker, AirdrieToday.com
Follow me on Twitter @Jay_Strickz