|The Elvis Costello
Preview of concert from 2004-03-05: Vancouver, Fairmont Hotel; fundraiser for Vancouver General Hospital - with Diana Krall
Patient reminds Krall of benefit’s inspiration
LEUKEMIA I Death of singer’s mother led to $350,000 fundraising concert
BY MARKE ANDREWS VANCOUVER SUN
Two days before tonight’s benefit concert in Vancouver, singer Diana Krall visited a leukemia patient who reminded her of her late mother, Adella.
The patient had just undergone a bone marrow transplant.
“He said he would volunteer for next year’s benefit,” said Krall, while holding hands with her husband, singer Elvis Costello, at a news conference Thursday at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
“I thought, ‘Get well first.’ ”
Krall, Costello and Elton John will perform tonight in the ballroom of the hotel at a black-tie benefit performance entitled An Evening with Diana Krall & Friends.
The concert will raise $350,000 for an outpatient facility as part of Vancouver General Hospital’s leukemia and bone marrow transplantation program.
Tonight marks the sixth benefit concert Krall has performed for the program, ever since her mother, stricken with leukemia, underwent transplant treatment. Adella Krall died in May 2002.
Costello, who lost a grandfather to cancer, said hearing Adella’s speech at the last benefit she attended inspired him to contribute his time to the benefit.
“I am honoured to be invited into this family,” he said.
Dr. Stephen Nantel, of Vancouver General Hospital’s Leukemia /Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, said there have been a number of advances in leukemia treatment, giving those with the disease a much better chance for a cure.
“It was amazing to see people getting well and going home,” Krall said.
Krall, who routinely sells out large halls, was asked why she didn’t go for a larger venue for the benefit. The singer replied that this event isn’t just about the money.
“It started as a lovely event,” she said. “We want to keep the integrity of the event, especially now with our mother gone.”
Krall’s sister, Michelle Wigmore, said the family thought about going to a larger venue, but felt the spirit of the event would be lost in a large concert hall.
“This is not a one-off. This is something we will do every year.”
Costello pointed out the uniqueness of seeing a megastar like Elton John “in a hotel ballroom.”
Krall, who has performed at an AIDS benefit for Elton John, said John chose the date for the event, calling to let her know he was available March 5.
Tickets for tonight’s benefit concert ranged in price from $550 to $1,000, and sold out in two days. Four days ago, the final pair of tickets to the concert were auctioned for $5,500 on EBay.
In five previous benefits, Krall raised more than $500,000 for the program.
Krall returns to Vancouver May 7 for a concert at GM Place.