Musician Michael Grady playing the tin whistle at the Sing For Supper event organised to raise money for St. Francis Table. Photo by Michael Swan

Toronto artists lend voices to St. Francis Table

  • April 19, 2012

TORONTO - You don't often see a Capuchin friar in his brown habit prowling a nightclub dance floor while singers warm up the gathering crowd. But Br. John Frampton had a definite interest in the crowd that would gather at the storied El Mocambo in downtown Toronto April 17.

A number of Toronto musicians volunteered their time and talent to raise money for St. Francis' Table in an event called Sing For Supper. The unusual venue for a Catholic fundraiser was perfect for reaching out to new supporters, said Frampton.

"The more people who know about St. Francis Table the easier it is for us to feed the hungry," he said.

St. Francis' Table is celebrating 25 years of serving $1 meals to people in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. The Franciscan outreach to a neighbourhood that has long struggled with deinstitutionalized psychiatric patients, drug dealing and poverty serves meals in a pleasant, restaurant atmosphere.

Craig McWade, who spent three years with the Capuchins in formation, persuaded the musicians to perform and promoted the event.

"Every dollar raised is another meal," said McWade.

Mucisians like Michael Grady can earn as much as $1,000 for a night's work in a nightclub. But he and others gave their time to Sing For Supper because they believe in what the Franciscans are doing, said McWade.

Among the musicians performing was St. Francis' Table chef Dominic Morris. Shannon Day, Larry Roland, The Gord Zubrecki Band, Chris Staig, Mark Wessenger and Huge & The Massives also took to the stage.

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