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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

IN Community: The 519 Virtual Gala Supports Canada’s Largest LGBTQ2+ Community Centre

November 14 event to feature musical performances by Alan Cumming, Ben Vereen, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jackie Richardson, Theo Tams, and Serena Ryder…

By Jumol Royes

Who doesn’t love a party with a purpose, and no one throws a party better than the LGBTQ2+ community.

The 519 is going virtual again this year for the 17th edition of the Annual Gala, its largest fundraising night, with the event scheduled to be streamed on Sunday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. (EST).

The evening will feature performances by legendary Canadian and American artists. Alan Cumming, Ben Vereen, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jackie Richardson, Theo Tams and Serena Ryder are all slated to return to the virtual stage.

This year’s event is presented by Rogers Communications and The 519’s Honorary Patron, Salah J. Bachir, and his husband, Jacob Yerex, are the organizers and title sponsors.

“We’re so grateful to Salah J. Bachir, who has championed The 519 via his Annual Gala for the past 17 years,” said Stacy Kelly, The 519’s director of philanthropy, in a press release. “The 2021 Virtual Gala will raise critically-needed funds for our programs and services in a safe manner and enable us to welcome guests from across the city, province, and even country.”

VIP tables (access for 25 guests) are priced at $25,000 and individual VIP tickets at $1,000; regular tables (access for 10 guests) are available for $10,000 and individual tickets are going for $150.

There’s also a budget-friendly option that allows attendees to pay what they can to access the virtual gala while still supporting the most vulnerable and marginalized members of the LGBTQ2+ community who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, according to The 519’s executive director, Maura Lawless.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the communities we serve was immediate and devastating. Many of them, already marginalized by poverty and violence, now faced isolation because of a shutdown,” said Lawless.

“The 2021 Annual Gala is a unique opportunity to support The 519 in our continued delivery of essential programs and services for the most underserved members of our 2 Spirit, queer, and trams communities.”

Additional event sponsors include: TD, Bell, CIBC, The Murray Frum Foundation, and Slaight Family Foundation.

Get your tickets here.

JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-area storyteller, communications strategist and glass-half-full kinda guy. He writes about compassion, community, identity and belonging. His guilty pleasure is watching the Real Housewives. Follow him on Twitter @Jumol and on Instagram @jumolroyes.

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