Alessandra Paonessa

Alessandra Paonessa

Alessandra Paonessa

Toronto born Classical Crossover Soprano, Alessandra Paonessa, joined the team of Hope for Hearts since the very beginning, performing last year during the first annual Hope for Hearts Gala event.

Having experienced my sister saved from life threatening illness, thanks to the technology and breakthroughs in recent years she is alive today. I am a strong supporter of scientific research and want to be a part of giving the same opportunity my sister had to others” says Alessandra, “I am happy to be an ambassador for Hope for Hearts.”

Since the release of her debut album Remembering Heaven in November 2014, Alessandra Paonessas’ career has been soaring to new heights and there is no looking back for this singer who was the recipient of 7 recording awards for her album this year alone. Remembering Heaven has aired on radio stations around the world including Taiwan, Australia, Greece,
South Africa, Netherlands, and all across North and South America. The award winning album is an international collaboration with world renowned British composer, Chris Broom and features 8 of his original works accompanied by full orchestra which were described in a recent review by Fanfare Magazine as “ …unapologetically romantic, inviting its listeners into an old-fashioned realm of lyrical beauty , serenity and inspiration.” (Fanfare Magazine 2015 – Clara Maria Verdino – Sullwold)

Alessandra’s voice has been described as “…a sweet, pure lyric soprano with firm intonation, admirable agility and a lush, rounded tone.” (Fanfare Magazine 2015 – Clara Maria Verdino – Sullwold) which is why it comes as no surprise her album has received international acclaim from around the world including ‘Best Classical Album’ in the Toronto Independent Music Awards, the Global Music Awards, ‘Best Classical Recording’, ‘Best Female Classical Artist’ in the Indi Music Channel Radio Awards and even made her red carpet debut at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards last year in Los Angeles California where she won ‘Best Female Vocal Performance’ for her recording of Dolce Vento.

Alessandra has performed around the globe including North America and the Netherlands. In April 2016, she returned to the United Kingdom to join four-piece singing sensation G4, as seen on Britain’s The X Factor. Alessandra has been invited as a guest soprano on G4’s ‘Back For Good Tour’.

To find out more about Alessandra Paonessa visit www.alessandrapaonessa.com

WinsDesign by Le Wins

Le Wins

Le Wins

Le Wins is a self taught designer at WinsDesign, a boutique studio in Toronto. Le has been making bridal and evening wear for over twenty years and she loves the art of designing beautiful gowns with soft fabrics for all women.

Le and her team were honoured when Dr. Barbara Cifra invited WinsDesign to create a fashion show for the Hope for Heart Gala in June 2016. As a mother herself, Le understands the precious moments  parents share with their children and how this can be a truly painful battle if one is not sure if their child will make it to the next birthday.

WinsDesign partnered with a full team to bring a great show to the event. The theme for this year was Bohemian Couture where soft laces took center stage. Twelve Toronto models showcased stunning gowns beautifully made in Canada. WinsDesign also teamed up with The Loved One for their gorgeous one of a kind crowns to compliment the full look. Models were beautified by three of the most talented Toronto hair and makeup artists: Priceless Beauty, Monica Makeup and Beauty by Sacha. The henna art for the models were done by Hennadore and all of their show photography was  captured by our professional photographer, Will Wayne.

For more information on these talented supporters, please visit:  Instagram.com/winsdesign

Rachel Foster

Rachel Foster

Rachel Foster

Rachel Foster is a fitness professional and competitive athlete for Team Canada. She currently lives in Toronto and is the founder of FosterFitness, a unique fitness program of many different disciplines related to health and fitness. Rachel’s goal is to inspire others to live their best life by enriching and empowering it through healthy living and fitness.

Rachel has been following SickKids for quite some time. It was her goal to start her own charity. Rachel’s experience as patient and an athlete has taught her a lot and she feels it is her responsibility to share it with others. Her wish is to inspire and comfort those who may be going through a similar experience.

I grew up as a competitive swimmer with dreams and aspirations to represent our country and swim in the Olympics. But my dream was taken away at the age of 17 when I found out that I had a heart condition and I was pulled out of competitive sport. I was told I had a “cardiomyopathy” a condition affecting my heart muscle. After a few weeks of not being allowed to exercise I started to feel the effects.

I remember going through many phases of emotions as you would when you experience the loss of someone. First I was sad, I hated not being able to work out, I started to gain weight, I felt emotionally and physically discontent with who I was. Fortunately, thanks to the excellent medical care I received my condition improved with time and I started lifting weights, running, and exercising.

Fast-forward to now I am so very thankful and grateful that I am here but also that I am back competing as an elite athlete in the fitness industry in a category known as women’s Physique.

Last year I came across Dr. Cifra, Dr. Mertens and Dr. Nield Hope for Hearts project. Being highly involved with the coaching of athletes and still being an athlete myself I have witnessed and hear of athletes encountering similar experiences as I did and unfortunately sometimes even worse.

The research that is happening around heart disease, both prenatal and postnatal is unbelievable. We need to inform young people and their families and let them know that through the new discoveries there is hope for them to have a better, longer and active life.

The research conducted by the Echocardiography lab at SickKids is changing and saving the lives of many children.

I am so excited and honored to be an ambassador for this cause and while there is much more to my story that I have not yet shared, I hope my words will provide some insight about the reasons why Hope for Hearts means so much to me and how much I would love for everyone to be a part of it by showing your support.”

Winning Team from Humber College

Luke Woodard, Brian Jones, Skye Deluz

Luke Woodard, Brian Jones, Skye Deluz

Seeing an opportunity for more breakthrough communications to support the event, Anika Chabra, Marketing and Advertising consultant and part-time instructor at Humber College orchestrated a collaboration between SickKids and Humber College. Anika believes in the power of communications to not only change behavior, but to do good.

In the first ever collaboration with SickKids, the students of Humber College’s Faculty of Media Studies’ Advertising & Graphic Design and Advertising Account Management programs entered an academic competition to develop integrated campaigns to drive awareness and interest in the Hope for Hearts fundraising gala. The winning team consisted of Luke Woodard, Brian Jones and Skye Deluz.

Brian Jones: “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for SickKids. My sister was born with retinoblastoma and it was the doctors at SickKids that helped her win the fight. Having spent many days in the hospital with my family, I truly understood what these kids were going through. After meeting with my amazing team of future award winning art directors, I knew this was a project that I really wanted to give my all. As Dr. Barbara Cifra and Dr. Luc Mertens lead the way with their Hope For Hearts initiative, I know that without a doubt, children will be thanking the Echo Lab for years to come.”

Luke Woodard: “Having been raised by SickKids researchers, I’ve always felt a close connection to the hospital and the cause. To be able to contribute to the betterment of children with congenital heart disease is not only an amazing opportunity but a privilege. The resilience of children like Elijah, Arezo, Eli and Cooper is inspiring and I feel lucky to have helped tell their story.”

About the Humber AdCentre:
anika_chabra_bwThe Humber AdCentre is a student based in-house agency where students get to work on creative projects for real-life clients. Projects can include logo design, packaging, website and mobile concepts, public relations and advertising campaigns.

If you are interested in collaborating, please contact Anika Chabra at anika.chabra@humber.ca or 416 617 4748.