|The Elvis Costello
Preview of concert from 2004-03-05: Vancouver, Fairmont Hotel; fundraiser for Vancouver General Hospital - with Diana Krall
The Diana and Elvis show
Krall, Costello and John to raise $350,000 in benefit show tonight
By Stuart Derdeyn Staff Reporter
To hear her tell it, she’s just a person with “so-called talent as a musician” putting her piano chops toward a good cause.
Others, such as Clifford Pollon, would beg to differ with Diana Krall’s assessment of her artistic merits.
The West Vancouver fan shelled out $5,500 for the opportunity to attend tonight’s An Evening with Diana Krall & Friends benefit gala performance for the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver ballroom.
Featuring Krall’s close friend Sir Elton John and new husband, Elvis Costello, the fundraiser is expected to raise upwards of $350,000 for the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Vancouver General Hospital. It is the fifth such concert presented by Krall and her sister Michelle Wigmore since their late mother Adella Krall was diagnosed for multiple myeloma — a terminal immune-system cancer — in 1996. She died from the illness in May 2002.
The annual benefit was conceived by the Krall family as a way of honouring their mom and thanking the doctors and staff at the internationally recognized treatment centre and clinical research facility who cared for her.
“Our mother received such incredible support and care that it’s very important to me to do this,” a visibly emotional Krall said yesterday at a press conference at the Hotel Vancouver.
“The facility has the most wonderful nursing team in the world. People such as Laura Clark. And touring the ward today and seeing her again just made us think of our mother.”
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation president Ron Dumouchelle said the Krall benefits have raised more than $500,000 since 1998.
The direct gains to the hospital include the purchase of a rare, $100,000-plus Apheresis machine that harvests stem cells from donors for leukemia patients and a complete remodelling of the facility by architect Sarah Richardson.
Asked why the family declines to move into a stadium facility such as GM Place, Wigmore explained that expansion could dilute the benefit’s focus. Krall pointed out that star-billing in a small setting had generated interest on an international basis for the cause with coverage in USA Today and In Style.
Costello was more candid in his explanation of venue selection:
“Really, how often do you get to see Elton John in a hotel ballroom?”
Krall and Costello joked that the flamboyant knight, who was not at the press conference, was paying back a favour he owed them for appearing at his annual AIDS concert in London.
Speculation as to whether John was off getting married was left unanswered by Krall: “I suppose that is a question you’d have to ask him yourself.”
Neither star on hand gave up any of tonight’s set list either. They denied that they would appear on stage together or at Costello’s Sunday evening show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
The most amusing moment in the otherwise serious question-and-answer period came when Costello was questioned about a rumoured passion for horseback riding since visiting B.C.
“I briefly owned the rear end of a horse in a syndicate named Stonehenge,” he said. “It was a steeplechase jumper that jumped like its name and I’ve not gone back to horses since.”
Tonight’s concert is sold out.
Tickets to Costello’s show are at Ticketmaster. To make a donation to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, contact 604-875-4676 or visit www.supportvgh.ca or www.dianakrall.com.