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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

WHO'S WHO | High Notes Launches Spotlight On Mental Health

By Member on April 16, 2015



On May 2, Luba Goy will host an evening of music and spoken words in order to help those touched by mental illness move forward.

“I am happy to lend my music in support of this very important cause,” says Alex McLeod, violist of the Ton Beau String Quartet. He has extended family members who have struggled with mental illness. “My relative’s family started to search for a solution during the adolescent years, and now lives a normal life,” he says.

However, there is still stigma surrounding a mental health diagnosis that doesn’t exist when someone faces cancer or diabetes. “Everyone can say they have mental health issues somewhere in their family. Whether it is their spouse, sibling or close friend and when you see it up close it gives you a much better understanding and a much broader perspective. It is when a person doesn’t really understand it, that’s where the stigma develops. When a person thinks that mental illness is a willful event that given the right motivation can be stopped; that it is a ‘snap out of it’ type of experience, stigma exists. It is those people we especially need to reach with our messages,” says Paul Cappuccio, Patient Care Director, Mental Health Services and Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital, and also a department of psychiatry lecturer at Queens University, and a Director of High Notes Avante’s board.

“Mental health is an issue that should be important to everyone, “ says singer/song writer Lauren Margison, who has personally suffered from depression. She will perform with her father, world-renowned tenor, Richard Margison. “As a society we can’t turn a blind eye to something that affects so many. When it is ignored it forces those affected to feel like there is something wrong with them and that it’s their fault—which is absolutely not true. We need to create awareness for it to get better,” she continues.

Orlando Da Silva is living proof that you can live a successful life despite having mental illness. As president of the Ontario Bar Association, a successful litigation lawyer and an amateur violinist, he is sharing his story publicly in order to get others to reach out privately. Julie Everson was abandoned on the street as a child but has overcome all odds against her and now performs spoken word poetry despite living with a borderline personality disorder.

“As an organization that understands the power of many voices raised together in accord, we are proud to join the conversation about mental illness,” says Stephen Handrigan, Director, St. Michael’s Choir School. “Supporting this cause is a natural extension of the core values of our curriculum, which recognizes that each and every person has great dignity and deserves the highest respect.”

“Ultimately our dream for the High Notes concert is for it to do for mental illness what other concerts and musical superstars have done for AIDS, African famine relief, the 2004 tsunami and other natural and man-made disasters,” says Artistic & Executive Director, Ingrid Taheri. Music critic and arts educator Peter Kristian Mose, Avante Board Chair, adds: “We created High Notes Avante as a non-profit organization in order to better grow this vision and reach even more people with our messages of hope and inspiration.”

During intermission the High Notes concert goers will be treated to dessert and champagne while bidding on silent auction items. You will also have an opportunity to chat with representatives from mental health organizations.

For tickets call 905.305.SHOW

Visit for more information.

Participating artists and speakers are:

Maestro Boris Brott, Michael Bridge, Charissa Vandikas, Dr. Rustom Sethna, a winner from the North York Music Festival’s High Notes category, Orlando Da Silva, Julie Everson, Alex McLeod and St Michael’s Choir School.



high notes final july 16


Publicity, and Public Relations

Phone: 416.605.8915



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High Notes Avante Productions Inc. uses the power of music and words to put the spotlight on mental health, touch your soul and reduce stigma.

No one frowns at you when you suffer from cancer and no one should when you have a mental illness. Still, due to the stigma, we often hide our heads in the sand like ostriches when someone mentions mental illness. But we can’t hide from the fact that one in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness during their lifetime. Even more will be touched by it. Therefore it is good to know that in 80 per cent of the cases help is available and we can move forward and live normal and even joyful lives.

Really, we are in fine company:

Many composers – including Schumann, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov – dealt with varied degrees of mental health challenges. And what wonderful music they still produced!

Our May 2nd gala concert High Notes for Mental Health at Flato Markham theatre will feature some of their music interspersed with short, uplifting speeches from both major and minor personalities, artists, and mental health professionals. (Please watch CTV’s Lloyd Robertson‘s endorsement) We will spotlight some of the organizations there to help when you need it.

We invite you to get in touch if also you have a story of hope and inspiration. As a non-profit organization we consider the gala a public relations service to both the public and the mental health organizations featured. Please help us move forward and have High Notes for Mental Health televised. How soon depends largely on the support we receive.

Cash donations, ticket donations and other contributions to the silent auction are much appreciated. Please refer to our sponsorship package for more information.


The Folks Behind It All

CTV’s Lloyd Robertson with Ingrid Taheri
CTV’s Lloyd Robertson with Ingrid Taheri

Ingrid Taheri | High Notes Inc. | Executive Director

Peter Kristian Mose | Mose Musical Arts | Chair of the Board of Directors

Barbro Stalbecker-Pountney | BSP Law | Director

Paul Cappuccio | Counselling and Assessment | Services Director

Pat Lemoine | Director

Jackie Marrison | Director


Photo Gallery




High Notes for Mental Health

Saturday May 2, Flato Markham Theatre, 7:30 pm

See here for tickets

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Ludwig Van Toronto


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