For the second year in a row, Toronto-based singer, Melissa Lauren, united with other artists from across the Greater Toronto Area. Including musicians like Ori Dagan, Alex Pangman, Barbra Lica, Devin Cuddy, Genevieve Marentette, and Murray Foster, the event — In the Can — was a delightful evening of live music in support of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.
“The idea was to invite artists to perform an unreleased tune, and let us in to something they haven’t let out into the world yet,” says Lauren, who has been writing songs and singing since her teenage years. “As an artist, you do many gigs to release materials or play things you’ve already decided are a go. But, so many of us have songs on the back burner that never make it out; hence, ‘In the Can.'”
For Lauren, using her talents to support at-risk kids was a no-brainer. “I had a baby and changed completely,” she says. “I started to [think more about children in my community], and wanted to focus on doing something productive.” Lauren also bears another connection to the child welfare system, having been adopted through the Catholic Children’s Aid Society.
“I had no idea how it would turn out, but the first year was pure magic,” she says. “The amount of heart, emotion, and raw beauty that came was unimaginable.” Noting that part of the fun in organizing the event is engaging people through donations, auctions, and spreading the word on social media, Lauren also says that seeing artists in an intimate, exclusive setting is also part of the appeal. This year’s event raised close to $5,000 for Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada programs.
Says Lauren: “It breaks my heart to think about young people who have little to no control of their environments. Any way that I can help that and stop the chain of poverty, abuse, neglect, well, I want to do it!”