Children sing in the Heideveld Choir (Photo by Music Therapy Community Clinic)

Support the Arts Fund

Become a Patron of the Arts Fund

All across Canada, artists – from musicians to photographers, designers and poets to comedians and authors – are standing in solidarity with Africans who are turning the tide of the AIDS epidemic. They are holding concerts and performances, showcasing art and selling crafts, thrilling their audiences and raising funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

We invite you – artists and art supporters – to join us as Patrons of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Arts Fund. Here's how to get involved:

  • Make a contribution to the Fund (select ‘Arts Fund’ from the 'Fund Allocation' drop-down menu).
  • Organize a fundraiser in your community;
  • Mobilize and inspire your networks for increased support

If you would like to explore ideas about how to get involved, please email or call Alexis MacDonald, Director of External Relations, at 1-888-203-9990 ext.300.

Here are a few creative examples of how some Canadians artists and supporters of the arts have mobilized to support the Foundation’s work:


Now in its fifth year, Dare to Wear Love (DTWL) is a powerful display of the fashion community’s commitment to HIV & AIDS in Africa. Each year, prominent Canadian designers use African textiles to create stunning designs, culminating with a celebrity-filled fashion show on the closing night of LG Fashion Week, in conjunction with the Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC). The brainchild of Hoax Couture’s Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell, the Dare to Wear Love collections will be prominently featured in an exhibit at the Canadian Textile Museum in Toronto starting in February 2012.


The annual Voices for Africa concert in the York Region is a collaborative event filled with musical celebration, reflection and hope. The performance now involves ten schools, hundreds of children, parents, staff and artists and over the years, has raised $100,000 for the Foundation since 2005.


Theatre Direct produced Binti’s Journey, adapted by Marcia Johnson from the children’s story The Heaven Shop. Its stellar cast brought to life Deborah Ellis’ book about the courage and determination of a young African woman affected by HIV & AIDS. On World AIDS Day 2010, the cast performed at Artscape Wychwood Barns with ticket proceeds donated to the Foundation.

Another cast of young actors, Queen’s Players Toronto (QPT), produces funny contemporary alt-pop-rock musicals that sell out every year. They have produced popular comedies such as The Office Spaceballs, Grey’s Entourage, Arrested Housewives, and Old School and the City. They donate all proceeds from their ticket sales to charity and have raised over $80,000 for the Foundation.


At Hope Rising!, the CIBC-sponsored benefit concert for the Stephen Lewis Foundation in May 2011, Alicia Keys, K’naan, Angelique Kidjo, Rufus Wainwright and other amazing performers came together to celebrate the healing power of the arts in Africa. Visit to hear the concert on demand on CBC Radio 2’s Canada Live website.

A graduate of Toronto's Etobicoke School of the Arts and Humber College's Jazz program, Michelle Willis, hosted and performed ‘A Cause for Affection’ – a deeply moving evening of original music, dance and artistry that, along with a silent auction and donations, raised more than $5,000.

The Grammas to Ambuyas in Ottawa, ON produced Dancing Kites, a delightful CD of songs and poetry generously donated by 17 Canadian children’s artists with a commitment to children and families worldwide, including Raffi, Charlotte Diamon and Norman Foote. Noted Yukon artist Ted Harrison donated the CD’s striking cover art.

Visual Art

Alison and Kate Lawler-Dean’s Heartbeats for Africa features local artists and more than 100 pieces of original artwork. The biennial art auction and sale takes place at a downtown Toronto gallery. Inspired by their mother, Penny, who is part of a Toronto Island grandmother group, the two sisters have raised over $25,000 for communities in Africa.

Artisans and Crafts

A group of textile artists on Vancouver Island donated their textile art collection for a series of art shows that had outstanding attendance and raised more than $175,000 from the auction of the quilts, and the sale of books, cards and posters.

In Vancouver, the Greater Van Gogos, a regional network of grandmothers groups is collectively selling quality craft items. One of their bestsellers, tote bags, has become a signature of their events. This tireless group of sewers have raised $200,000 from the tote bags alone!

Authors and Literature

Barbara Coloroso, a dynamic speaker and international expert in the areas of parenting, teaching, and bullying, regularly waives her speaking fee at fundraising events for the Foundation and gives partial proceeds from one of her bestselling books.

Grandmothers’ Necklace is a rich anthology of prose and poetry by professionals and non-professionals alike in honour of African grandmothers. With extraordinary generosity, the editor Patricia Elford donated the proceeds from every sale and raised nearly $10,000.


LGBTIQ organizations in Africa reporting human rights abuses linked to COVID-19 May 19, 2020

Stephen Lewis Foundation / Canada, Press release

World will survive COVID-19 only if 'swift action' taken to help Africa, UN humanitarian says March 25, 2020

Matt Galloway and Idella Sturino, Toronto, Canada, CBC Radio: The Current

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