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It’s Sounds of the Season at CBC Toronto. Check out our live broadcast centre festivities

A full day of programming in support of CBC Toronto’s Sounds of the Season, the annual fundraising campaign for local food banks, kicked off Friday morning.

The day got underway with a special live edition of CBC Radio’s Metro Morning with host David Common. 

Common was joined by many of your favourite CBC personalities and the show featured some of the city’s most talented musicians. Luna Elle, winner of the 2023 CBC Searchlight competition, was up first with a rendition of This Christmas and later sang her song Can’t Take It, while Juno nominee Adria Kain performed her track A Long Way Home and a new song titled Running Away. Indie rockers Born Ruffians played Forget Me and the holiday classic Little Toy Trains. The Toronto Children’s Chorus performed Fly Me to the Moon and Deck the Halls.

Over the course of its 21 years, Sounds of the Season has raised more than $10 million for Greater Toronto Area and Ontario food banks. It’s a fabulous way to celebrate the holiday season while supporting a good cause.

A report released last month found that the number of Ontarians who rely on food banks jumped 40 per cent over the last year as the costs of groceries and other essentials have gone up. Visits to food banks across the GTA are up 51 per cent over the previous year, while an estimated one in 10 Torontonians are currently dependant on food banks for at least part of their sustenance.

This year’s Sounds of the Season campaign began in early November and as of 7:30 a.m. this morning had already raised more than $421,400. Those who want to give can donate until Dec. 31.

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In 2022, the CBC’s provincewide Sounds of the Season campaign raised more than $1 million over a month-long period.

Neil Hetherington, CEO of the Daily Bread Food Bank — Toronto’s largest — said the donations are desperately needed.

“The face of food banks is changing. People are not able to make ends meet,” he told the live audience.

Hetherington said the food bank used to ship out about 35,000 pounds of food per day to other local organizations. This year, it is averaging some 175,000 pounds each day. Meanwhile, Daily Bread used to spend just over $1 million per year on food to meet demand. Now that bill is more than $20 million annually, he said.

Full day of fun events

Friday’s festivities also include:

  • A meet and greet with CBC talent in the Barbara Frum Atrium at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre from 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
  • A chat, hosted by CBC Sports, with Pan American and Parapan American games medallists looking ahead to the 2024 Paris Olympics, also in the Barbara Frum Atrium from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
  • A special recording of CBC Radio’s The Current with host Matt Galloway and live interview with guest Rick Mercer from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Glenn Gould Studio.
  • CBC Kids live on stage in the Barbara Frum Atrium from 11 a.m. to noon. Gary the Unicorn will be there!
  • From noon to 1 p.m. the atrium show continues, with some live comedy and a Bollywood fashion show.
  • CBC Radio’s Commotion host Elamin Abdelmahmoud will take a look at the winners and losers in pop culture this year from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Glenn Gould Studio.
  • Another meet and greet with CBC talent including CBC Toronto News at Six’s Dwight Drummond, Fresh Air’s Ismaila Alfa, Steve Patterson from The Debaters, Commotion‘s Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Kevin Carrington, Natalie Kalata, and more from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the atrium.
  • Chris Glover hosts a live broadcast of CBC Radio’s Here & Now from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Glenn Gould Studio.
  • A free event to celebrate the final season of CBC’s hit series Sort Of at 8 p.m. (Please note that this is a ticketed event).
Tom Power, Piya Chattopadhyay, Rich Terfry and Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe on stage in the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto during Sounds of the Season.
CBC hosts Tom Power, Piya Chattopadhyay, Rich Terfry and Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe on stage in the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto during a previous Sounds of the Season event. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

Ways to donate to Sounds of the Season

● Online: Click here to donate to your local food bank.

● By phone: Call our operators at 1-855-700-SOTS (1-855-700-7687).

● Want to donate food? Click here for information on how to give a donation of non-perishable food to your local food bank.

The Sounds of the Season Donation Hotline will be staffed on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except for Dec. 8, when phone lines will be open from 5:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

If operators are unable to answer your call, please leave a message and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

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