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Kids Help Phone celebrates 20th anniversary with fundraiser

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Etalk’s Tyrone Edwards hosts May 16th event, featuring performances and appearances by Serena Ryder, Ed Robertson, Kardinal Offishall, Giacomo Gianniotti and more

TORONTO, ON (May 13, 2021) – Kids Help Phone presents a 30-minute fundraising special, Dance + More for Tomorrow powered by BMO, on Sunday, May 16th at 12:30 p.m. ET. Hosted by Etalk’s Tyrone Edwards, the special virtual event will mark the 20th year of Kids Help Phone’s annual national fundraiser, which pivoted from an in-person walk event to the highly engaging virtual event in 2020.

At a critical time when people across Canada are battling COVID fatigue and loss of ‘normal’, this multi-platform celebration of music and dance is guaranteed to lift spirits while raising funds for youth mental health. Tune in to watch the special online here.

The event will raise awareness around the mental health crisis facing young people during the COVID-19 pandemic and features special appearances and performances by Giacomo Gianniotti, Theland Kicknosway, Kardinal Offishall, Gurdeep Pandher, Ed Robertson, Serena Ryder, Hannah Simone, DJ Starting from Scratch, Liz Trinnear, and Chloe Wilde.

“We know first hand the toll the pandemic is taking – especially in the third wave. We hear from young people every single day, even at 2 a.m., talking about issues of grief, loss, isolation, and suicide,” said Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone. “Amidst the tough times, there is hope as increasing numbers of young people are reaching out to Kids Help Phone to help them cope. On May 16th join us in a virtual celebration in support of youth mental health to raise critical funds.”

“We’re into the second year of missing birthdays, hanging out with friends and hugging loved ones – and it’s taking an incredible toll on our mental health,” said Etalk’s Tyrone Edwards. “As a dad, I can’t help but to think about how this pandemic is affecting our kids. Which is why I am honoured to host Kids Help Phone’s celebration to continue the conversation and focus on youth mental health.”

In 2020, Kids Help Phone supported over 4.6 million interactions with young people through phone, text, live chat and self-directed resources through the gateway portal. Compared to the 1.9 million interactions in 2019, this 137 per cent increase highlights the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of maximizing access and continuously innovating to meet the needs of young people wherever they are on their mental health journey.

“All of us at BMO are proud to be part of the Kids Help Phone story. We believe young people in every community should have access to mental health support 24/7, 365 days a year, in the way they need it most,” said Catherine Roche, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Social Impact, BMO Financial Group. “Thank you to the frontline heroes who are making a difference in the lives of young people every single day.”

Tune in on Sunday, May 16th to watch the show online starting at 12:30 p.m. ET here. The show will be broadcast in English and French.

To learn more about Kids Help Phone or to donate, visit KidsHelpPhone.ca.

Thank you to our national sponsors: AIR MILES, Bell Canada, Lactalis Canada, Landmark Cinemas, Nestlé Canada, and The Source and to our media partner, Bell Media.

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Thanks to our growing community, Kids Help Phone offers free, 24/7 e-mental health services to young people in Canada. Your generosity helps ensure that someone is always there when support is needed for any issue, big or small.

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