A number of Canadian artists and actors checked in from home for the Stronger Together special in support of Food Banks Canada’s efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Celine Dion, Justin Bieber and Drake were among the stars to appear on the 90-minute program — airing on television and radio, and streaming online Sunday night (April 26) — that encouraged viewers to donate to the charitable organization.
Dion highlighted healthcare professionals, first responders and other essential service providers: “We cannot thank all of you enough,” she said. “We salute your bravery.”
Bieber appeared later in the evening, alongside wife Hailey.
“Just wanted to let you guys know we are here in Canada with you guys,” he said. “We are enduring this as a country together. We are sending our love and prayers.”
Closing out Stronger Together was Drake, who did not perform but who did offer a thoughtful message.
“I want to start off by saying hats off to all the artists who performed, showcased their talents tonight for a good cause,” Drake said.
“I want to send all my love, all my gratitude, all my support out to the frontline workers,” the “”Toosie Slide” star added, revealing that he “actually ended up in the hospital the other day due to a foot injury.”
He commended the morale and high spirits of the healthcare workers he encountered, saying it was “incredible to see people who have to leave their families every day and go to work amidst this crisis, as dangerous as this is” being “the glue holding us together.”
Drake went on to offer some motivational words “to the people who are at home right now, abiding by the rules, self-isolating, who feel unaffected or not yet affected by the situation directly. I know it can still weigh on your mental health. I want to urge everybody that’s in their own space to find the silver lining in the times we’re living through right now.”
The rapper suggested working on one’s craft from home, or using this time to “better yourself mentally, physically” or to “nurture your personal relationships, your personal connections.”
“Now is a time for self-reflection,” Drake said. “I hope we all emerge better people, a more unified people.”