Whose Crew Are You On?
Epic Torontonians Like Andre De Grasse, Kyle Dubas and Cheryl Hickey Join Colm Feore in Building a New SickKids
SickKids is known for some seriously heart-wrenching campaign videos (seriously, we dare you to watch this without tearing up at least once), and its latest video strikes even more of a dramatic, urgent tone. As you’ve probably heard by now, SickKids is redeveloping its nearly 70-year-old hospital—focusing particularly on the intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit and bone marrow transplant unit—so it can offer the very best state-of-the-art health care to the pint-size Canadians who need it. It’s no small feat, and it will take $1.3 billion in donations to complete. As such, SickKids Foundation is aiming to recruit ten thousand new crew members to donate by the end of the year—and it’s channelling the camaraderie of crews to achieve it.
Narrated and led by Colm Feore, a Canadian actor who has appeared in 24; Bon Cop, Bad Cop; House of Cards; Thor; and Chronicles of Riddick, as well as numerous leading roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, SickKids’s newest video is a powerful rallying cry. In it, Feore, with his booming King Lear voice, calls upon all kinds of Toronto crews—from downtown suits to dressed-up cosplayers to commuting cyclists—to come together in pursuit of a common goal. The message is crystal clear: whatever your interests, whatever your identity, everyone can get behind helping kids get better.
Feore is the captain of “The Artists” crew. Though it was a serendipitous moment that sparked his encouragement in the video, courtesy of a kindly Toronto cop, his commitment to the cause was cemented the moment he arrived on set. “The evening of the shoot, it was pouring rain. I asked the first person on set why she had come out to stand for hours in the dark and rain,” says Feore. “Her answer hit me like a punch to the gut. She had lost her son at SickKids a few years back, and she was filled with gratitude and love for the folks who had so compassionately cared for him. She had to be there. I knew, at that instant, I did too.”
In the video, Feore is joined by a convoy of talented Canadians who bring the very best to their respective fields. There are tons of big names in sports: Fred VanVleet, a point guard on the Toronto Raptors, heads up “The Ballers,” calling on basketball fans from the foul line to the sidelines, while legendary football player and coach Pinball Clemons is at the helm of “The Gridirons,” and Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore represents “The Reds.” Kyle Dubas, the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is part of the “The Blue and Whites”—as is Steve Dangle, the popular Sportsnet blogger. Super-speedy Olympic sprinter Andre De Grasse is on board as the king of “The Road Runners,” encouraging everyone, whether they are first-milers or marathoners, to help SickKids cross the finish line.
And it’s not just athletes: the city’s top fashionistas are also turning up for SickKids in true form. In the video, ET Canada host Cheryl Hickey leads a crew of catwalkers, including blogger duo the Beckerman sisters, Life with Boys actress Torri Webster and fashion YouTuber Allegra Shaw. Other crews featured in the video include local hot dog vendors, hard-working chefs, determined boxers and, of course, everyone’s favourite: the dog people. Because, as Colm says in the video, it’s going to take us all. Which brave souls will answer the call?
SickKids provides over half of Ontario’s paediatric ICU capacity and is the only level-four NICU in the GTA that provides care for the most medically complex infants, including those requiring surgical care and critical care for neurological conditions. In their busiest months, the ER is overcapacity by 111 per cent—and Toronto’s population only keeps growing. It’s a massive undertaking to help build a new SickKids. But the thing about the team mentality is that you don’t have to do it alone. Donate now, and spread the word to recruit your crew—whether they’re artsy creative types, finance execs or diehard gamers—to help.