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Dream Serenade was established in 2014 by Toronto musician Hayden Desser and his wife Christie Greyerbiehl, who also produce the event, as an annual concert to benefit Toronto’s Beverley Junior Public School and other GTA schools that support children with special needs, and to support the Family Relief Fund, which provides respite to parents and caregivers. The evening is also a celebration of teachers and volunteers who care for the city’s children year-round. “This annual concert is not just a way to contribute much-needed funding to those who need it most,” commented Greyerbiehl. “It’s also an evening that celebrates the tireless work of the teachers, parents and caregivers who provide essential support to our city’s children – and who do so without much in the way of applause.”

In just a few short years, over $150,000 has been raised thanks to those who generously volunteered their time and talents. “Dream Serenade began as a way to raise funds for our daughter’s incredible school, but it’s become so much more than that,” added Hayden. “It's become an essential part of our lives, and the ideal way to celebrate this community of inspiring people.”

Each year, the line up of Dream Serenade performers includes a group of like-minded artists invited by Hayden, along with members of the community who donate their time and talents for this memorable evening. Past performers include:

2016 Amy Milan, Barenaked Ladies, Broken Social Scene, Dan Mangan, Gord Downie, Hayden, Lou Canon, The Persuasions

2015 Bahamas, Choir! Choir! Choir!, Hayden, Joel Plaskett, Kevin Hearn & Thinbuckle, Serena Ryder, TUNS (Chris Murphy, Mike O’Neil, Matt Murphy), The Weather Station

2014 Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Grey Lands, Feist, Hayden, Jason Collett, Lou Canon, Matt and Aaron of The National, Sarah Harmer

Some Words on Dream Serenade:

The massive audience seemed both extremely enthusiastic about the cause and entirely open to the somewhat unconventional format — short sets from a wide range of performers…though Hayden was the de facto recipient of all this affection, the outpouring of love and creativity showed that he has clearly tapped into a very special idea for a very extraordinary cause."

— 10/10, Chris Bilton, Exclaim! Magazine

But it was the quiet moments that set the Dream Serenade apart: when one could give pause and appreciate the collective of musicians gathering for an extraordinarily vital cause. […] The second annual Dream Serenade was referred to as a “night out” for fans, but given the intimate nature of the performances it felt more like a night in with friends: both local and out-of-town musicians let their guard down for a special, unforgettable evening."

— NNNNN, Joshua Kloke, Now Magazine

For over five years, Toronto songwriter Hayden Desser and his wife, Christie Greyerbiehl, have been hatching a plan. It started coming together bit by small, embryonic bit, beginning when their first child was born with a rare chromosome condition that triggered a developmental disability. But despite the unexpected challenge, hope, not sadness or surrender, prevailed. […] Recently come to fruition, that idea became Dream Serenade."

— Todd Aalgaard, Post City Magazine

I took in Hayden’s Dream Serenade through an older but not necessarilyer lens this year. When he played No Happy Birthday solo, with a slow-motion video of his non-verbal daughter projected in the background, the emotional weight completely moved me."

— Joshua Kloke, “7 Shows That Made Now Critics Cry This Year”, Now Magazine

 

October 26, 2016

 

August 11, 2016

We're very excited to announce the third annual Dream Serenade benefit concert on October 22, 2016 at Toronto’s Massey Hall. Those of you who have generously supported us over the last couple of years know how special this night has become: artists like Feist, Matt and Aaron from The National, Bahamas, Serena Ryder, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Joel Plaskett and many others have generously volunteered their time and talents to perform intimate and inspiring performances on the stage of the legendary Massey Hall. Over $125,000 has been raised towards schools and services for children with developmental and / or physical disabilities, a new playground is underway for the students of Beverley Street School, a Family Relief Fund offering respite services is now active and last year we were able to award $20,000 to Toronto’s George Webster Elementary School for upgrades to their classrooms.

This annual concert is not just a way to contribute much needed funding to those that need it most within this community, but it’s an evening that celebrates the tireless work that teachers, parents and caregivers provide year round to children in our city, without the applause. This year, Broken Social Scene, Dan Mangan, Amy Millan (of Stars), Barenaked Ladies, The Persuasions, Lou Canon and more will help give us another unforgettable night. We hope you will join us.‎

Dream Serenade has become much more than its beginnings as a way to raise funds for our daughter's incredible school. It's now a very important part of our lives and a perfect way to celebrate a community of inspiring people.

— Hayden Desser & Christie Greyerbiehl (co-presenters)

Tickets for Dream Serenade ranging from $25-$100 can be purchased at the Massey Hall box office, by phone at 416-872-4255 or online at masseyhall.com

 

 

October 23, 2015

The Second Annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert has come and gone. It was a spectacular celebration of the community of children with developmental and / or physical disabilities and their teachers, parents and caregivers. If you joined us, thanks again for your support. If you missed it, please consider it next year and read NOW's perfect score review of the show here:
https://nowtoronto.com/music/concert-reviews/dream-serenade/

It's also not too late to donate to this wonderful cause. Here's the link:
https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/dream-serenade/

 

October 16, 2015

Dream Serenade 2015Dream Serenade will return to Massey Hall this year on October 17, 2015 for its second year supporting services for children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers. Last year's inaugural event featured performances from Feist, Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner of The National, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Sarah Harmer, Jason Collett, Grey Lands (Wayne Petti), Lou Canon, and Hayden himself.

We're pleased to announce that this year's Dream Serenade concert has the exciting additions of special guest Serena Ryder, and performances by Bahamas, Kevin Hearn & Thin Buckle and Choir! Choir! Choir!. They join the previously announced line up of Hayden, Joel Plaskett, The Weather Station and TUNS (Chris Murphy, Mike O'Neill and Matt Murphy).

"Last year's Dream Serenade was such a remarkable event. It brought together the parents, families & caregivers of children with physical and / or developmental disabilities, their teachers and school staff and the broader community in celebration and awareness. With voices and sounds, we shook the walls of the legendary Massey Hall. No one left the building unmoved by the talent on stage, the images on screen, the generosity, and the spirit of the occasion.

Last year we raised over $100,000 with proceeds currently working towards the completion of a new green playground at Beverley St School with plans approved and groundbreaking this Spring! A respite fund for caregivers has also been established with applications available this September.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2nd annual Dream Serenade. This year's money raised will continue to benefit Toronto's Beverley Street School and the Family Relief Fund for caregivers, as well as an additional special needs school within the Toronto District School Board to be determined through an online video application process.

We hope you'll join us this Saturday, October 17th. Please stay posted as we announce more incredible artists who will be performing." -H & C

Tickets are on sale now starting at $35 through the Massey Hall website at www.masseyhall.com or at the Massey Box Office by phone at 416-872-4255.

 

April 13, 2015

Dream Serenade is an annual benefit concert organized by Toronto musician Hayden Desser and his wife Christie Greyerbiehl. Proceeds are directed to much needed schools, pre-schools, hospitals and respite services that support children with developmental and/or physical disabilities and their families.‎

Hey Love Album CoverThe first annual concert took place at the legendary Massey Hall in Toronto on October 25, 2014. Those in attendance were treated to unforgettable performances by Feist, Matt and Aaron from The National, Billy Talent, Barenaked Ladies, Sarah Harmer, Hayden, Jason Collett, Greylands and Lou Canon.

the outpouring of love and creativity showed that they have clearly tapped into a very special idea for a very extraordinary cause. Dream Serenade found a number of artists ascending to a whole new level by getting outside their respective comfort zones.

— 10/10, Exclaim!
artists

Money raised through ticket sales and donations from last year's concert went to Toronto's Beverley School, as well as a family relief fund for caregivers that was created behind the event. This exceptional school uses a team-based approach to support the educational needs of students with developmental and / or physical disabilities.‎ Proceeds from Dream Serenade will help ensure that Beverley can continue to provide cutting edge educational initiatives and make sure their students are able to access technology that supports their independence.

These funds raised will also enable Beverley to build a green space on school grounds allowing urban students to experience the colours, smells and textures of being outdoors.

An amazing $100,00.00 was raised at Dream Serenade 2014 and construction on the green space starts this Spring!‎

 

For questions and inquiries about Dream Serenade, please contact Dara Kartz at darakartz@gmail.com.

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