High Notes

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Music can change the world because it can change people - Bono

Evan Carter

There’s a true art to being a great emcee. The right host is someone who not only keeps the show moving along, but can make you laugh, make you think, and make you realize what a great time you’re having at the performance.

For many years, we were fortunate to have comedy legend Luba Goy, who’s been a supporter of High Notes from our earliest days, as our host.

This year, she will relax and enjoy the show (and then toast guests at the VIP reception) as we welcome, comedian Evan Carter as our new emcee.

Make no mistake – this is hardly Evan’s first rodeo. As a stand-up comic, he’s opened for some of the biggest names in show business, from Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, and the Temptations to Air Supply and Midnight Oil.

Evan has been performing stand-up comedy out of his hometown of Toronto since 1977 – pursuing a craft that has taken him all over the world.

Evan came up at the same time as other noted Toronto comedians such as Howie Mandel, and Jim Carrey, and he remembers the early days of the stand-up comedy boom when a young Jerry Senifeld, Gilbert Gottfried, and Jay Leno would regularly pass through town.

While Evan himself is not personally touched by mental illness, he does understand the stresses that come with anxiety.

For him, anxiety manifests in getting to the show on time. “I need to be very mindful of my timing – what time I need to leave for an airport, what time I need to board a flight, what time I arrive, what time I need to get to my hotel, what time I need to get to a venue… As soon as I’m there, I’m calm, but there’s a lot of anxiety still in the lead up,” he says.

While he enjoys stand-up comedy, his career has taken him in other directions. He’s completed lengthy road tours, performed on cruise ships, and spent time living and performing in the Middle East.

These days though, Evan prefers to spend less time on the road when he can afford it. “After you fly 100,000 km or more in a year and rarely leave the country, it gets to be a lot of air travel,” he says.

His work as an emcee came out of his time as a stand-up, where comics are often recruited to run a showcase of their peers. Evan quickly saw that his ability to think on his feet was not only beneficial in comedy, but could translate into a variety of events.

One of the places it led him was to the Second City, where he trained in the art of improvisation. He went on to teach at the prestigious Second City Training Centre program for nearly a decade, and is still proud of the dedicated Improv for Anxiety program that is offered.

“It’s a great program, and there’s no cap on enrollment,” he notes. The improv training seems to offer significant benefits to helping with anxiety, and so the more students are interested, Second City simply hires more instructors and offers more classes.

Evan first connected to High Notes through his friend Dr. Alan Shiner, who has composed a special song ‘We All Have A Story’ for the anniversary celebration.

Evan is excited to be involved in the preparations for this year’s gala. “We’ve got Alan Shiner and his band Nova Sounds coming with some special guests, we’ve got Dan Hill, we’ve got opera, we’ve got dance, we’ve got spoken word…”

It’s going to be a great show. Please click the link below to secure your tickets now.

Thanks to the folks at BINGO WORLD RICHMOND HILL for so generously supporting High Notes Avante. Without your continuous support and our volunteers there would not be a 10-year anniversary celebration.

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