(This story is sponsored by Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture.)
For its 21st year, Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture invites audiences to a special evening of celebration and fundraising in the support and promotion of artists who identify as living with a disability. This year’s event, taking place at The Cultch (1895 Venables Street) on April 26, features Gaelynn Lea in concert with a performance by David Roche and a visual-arts presentation by Mujtaba Saloojee.
Gaelynn Lea, the evening’s headliner, is a classically trained violinist and singer-songwriter who has shot to fame and critical acclaim with her singular voice, haunting original songs, and experimental takes on traditional fiddle music. She has toured and performed all over the world. In 2016, she beat more than 6,000 submissions to win NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest.
David Roche has been a significant contributor the disability-arts-and-culture movement in Canada for more than 30 years. He has transformed the challenges and gifts of living with a facial difference into a compelling message full of spirit, warmth, wit, and authenticity that uplifts and delights audiences around the world.
His performances have inspired standing ovations from the White House to Olympics arts festivals and beyond. He is in a new film called Happy Face, which tells the story of Stan, a 19-year-old who dons a disguise and joins a therapy workshop for facially different patients in a misguided attempt to reconnect with his estranged, cancer-stricken mother.
Mujtaba Saloojee is a rising star from the Sunshine Coast who is an incredible speaker and creator. The self-taught painter is relearning how to make art after a spinal injury, and both his story and work are empowering, fascinating, and inspirational.
In addition to uplifting and unforgettable performances, Kickstart’s 21st anniversary concert and fundraiser will also feature a silent auction where guests can bid on original art, jewellery, experiences, gift baskets, and more.
Tickets, which start at $25, are available now via the website. VIP passes are $75 and include early entry to the venue, a preview of the auction, a preshow cocktail reception with the artists, and special seating for the show.