Saying Goodbye is a national concert on November 14 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST with performers from across each province and territory, held in honour and awareness of National Grief and Bereavement Day on November 16, 2021. The national virtual live stream can be found at Sayinggoodbyeconcert.ca. Saying Goodbye is hosted by the National Arts Centre (NAC) and presented by the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) in partnership with all provincial palliative care associations across Canada.
Tickets to the concert are free, donations are appreciated. Proceeds will be shared between the CHPCA and the appropriate provincial palliative care association. The 2nd annual event will feature various Canadian artists from across each province and territory, including notable talent like Johnny Reid, Gregory Charles, John McDermott, Michelle Wright, Fred Penner, Shari Ulrich, Jenn Grant, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Ray Legere, Tara Shannon and many more.
Saying Goodbye will provide a time and place to grieve for loved ones lost during COVID-19 as the pandemic prevented many from engaging in the usual process of letting go. The goal is to help normalize conversation around the dying process and recognize grief and bereavement as a natural response to loss.
“There is never a ‘good’ time to lose a loved one. The Saying Goodbye concert has the potential to create really great awareness around grief and bereavement as we experienced it as never before during this difficult time of social isolation,” says Laurel Gillespie, CEO of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.
Last year marked the first annual Saying Goodbye Concert. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians experienced grief to an extent they had never experienced before. Whether they lost a loved one to the virus or experienced loss through immense life changes, Canadians were able to come together over the shared love of music to commemorate the collective grief of the nation. Here are some testimonials from last year’s concert:
“Thank you each and every one of you involved in this concert, from the bottom of the heart of someone who lost someone special on Oct 2, 2020. Thank you, from someone whose children did not get to say goodbye to a mother in a manner befitting humans. Thank you from a Canadian who will remember this gracious gift of music as a light in one of the darkest times of humanity. Thank you from a musician who feels the value of your efforts. Thank you.”
“Our PEI palliative care team was amazing with my sister and our family who allowed for what my sister wanted, which was to die at home with close ones by her side. Just an amazing group to have supporting families. Thank you.”
“This is helping with the grieving I feel and for so many others. Thank you.”
“So beautiful. Love to all who are grieving the loss of a beloved. May we all learn to convert our grief to mourning in healthy and loving ways.”
“This is very beautiful. Very talented musicians for sure. Thank you for taking the time to organize this event. God bless you all.”
“Thank you for this beautiful musical gift.”