Toronto (April 10, 2005) - Acclaimed Canadian tenor Michael Burgess will perform Wednesday, April 13 at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) as part of the hospital's weekly Music in the Atrium series. This will be the 10th annual appearance for Mr. Burgess, the performer who launched the program, and his long-time accompanist Doug Riley.

Local philanthropist Tauba Spiro, who has attended every performance since the beginning, funds the music program.

"The fact that this program has continued for 10 years really says something about how beneficial it is," she says. "Something magical happens to the atmosphere in the hospital; people really do have a feeling that the hospital changes."

Dr. Gary Rodin, head of psychosocial oncology and palliative care, agrees:

"We all look forward to Wednesdays when the music wafts upward, providing comfort, pleasure and stimulation to everyone in the building. This program is a unique and valued part of our philosophy of care at PMH - what we call healing beyond the body – which includes the emotional and spiritual well-being of patients, family and staff."

At this week's performance and just in time for National Volunteer Week, there will be special recognition of Spiro and numerous volunteers for their continued commitment - from the AV technician to the piano tuner - all of whom have donated their time and talents over the years.

Heather Hardie, manager of volunteer resources who coordinates the music program, says more than 180 musicians, both emerging and well known, are in the program database. They include PMH's very own Dr. David Loach, a bone-marrow transplant specialist who performs Broadway numbers like a pro every Christmas. Past performers have included Maureen Forrester and Peter Appleyard.

About Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation

The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute.

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636
Email: UHN.News@uhn.ca

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