Article: Help’s music to their ears


David Foster Foundation


David Foster’s foundation aids families while children are in hospital

Sebastien, Fintan, Dravidan, Cleo and Britney.

No matter how bad your day is going, today I invite you to just take a second and read about these five brave kids who easily could not be with us today.

But they are with us — thanks to generous donations on several levels.

The five are drawn together by something they all have in common. They are all young children — five of many, by the way — who are at Sick Kids Hospital right now recovering from transplant operations.

“Every time I go and see kids in hospitals I am always amazed at how positive they are,” Canadian music legend David Foster tells me. “It is amazing.”

Foster was in town accepting an entry into the Canadian Music Industry’s Hall of Fame.

“I am honoured to get the award but the reason I am really here was to come to see the kids and bring some attention to my foundation,” he said.

Tears are not enough. And there are lots of them that go with this stuff.

Cheers are not important to Foster any more. “We want to help these families,” he said.


And he does, through the David Foster Foundation.

It all started 21 years ago in Los Angeles. Foster got a call from his mother in Victoria, B.C., about a child originally from Victoria who was in California in need of a transplant. He went over to offer support.

“I asked her if there is anything she wanted,” David recalled. “I was thinking in terms of Disneyland or something, but she said, ‘I want to see my sister.’ ” Foster immediately flew her down.

“In that I saw the need and the kind of financial burden these families are put under when they are waiting for transplants or recovering from one.”

He wanted to do something for Canadian kids and immediately held a fundraiser and started the foundation. Enter Lynne Mozley, a volunteer from Victoria who wanted to help. She has been running the foundation ever since.

“We don’t always win,” she said. “But we win more than we lose.”

The work they do is amazing. Essentially they help the families pay the bills and allow their families to stay together in the time of extreme need.

And yesterday Foster, his partner, Yolanda Hadid, and his children, Erin, Gigi and Bella, spent a couple of hours at Sick Kids with some children and their families. More tears.

“It is emotional because of everything we have been through,” said Jasmina Forest, whose 21/2-year-old son, Sebastien, is recovering from a liver and bowel transplant. “We really appreciate what this foundation has done for us. It has allowed me to stay with my son.”

Jasmina is from Winnipeg and she and her husband, David, need to be here in Toronto. The financial assistance from Foster’s organization makes sure it happens.

Fintan Doucette is 15 months old and had similar surgery. Dad Richard, mom Nicole and sister Shaeleigh have moved into the area from North Bay with Foster’s help.


Dravidan Ratnam is only 9 months and has a new liver. The donor was his mom, Satiya. “We are so appreciative of what this hospital and foundation has done for us,” said Ruben, who adds the help is vital because they have to raise 5-year-old son Sameeran as well.

Leo Savage, of the Kingston-area village of Yarker, said his 1-year-old daughter Cleo, who had serious transplant surgery recently, may not know who Foster is or his music but will one day thank him for the financial support he offered her parents.

Jennifer and Shawn Brewster from Hartland, N.B., know exactly what they mean. Their daughter, 4-year-old Britney, had a heart transplant Jan. 18 and they said such a thing rips the hearts of the parents who have to go through it.

“David Foster is something else,” said Shawn. “His foundation helped get us a place to live.

“They have been amazing to us.”

Foster said his aim is ensuring families can focus on getting the kids better and not worry about going bankrupt. He’s planning a big fundraising concert for Toronto in 2008.

“My goal is to one day raise $50 million,” he said.

It’s worth every penny. Just ask Sebastien, Fintan, Dravidan, Cleo and Britney.


Please support the David Foster Foundation

Article: Fostering a new image


David Foster


Festivalgoers get up-close-and-personal peek into the life of Victoria-raised Grammy-winning musician

Michael D. Reid, Times Colonist
Published: Monday, February 05, 2007

Scoops and surprises, cheers and tears, true confessions and a megadose of self-mockery marked a highlight of the 13th annual Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival’s opening weekend: Saturday’s An Evening with David Foster.

“I think David discovered something about himself last night,” the Grammy Award-winning musician’s first ex-wife, singer-songwriter B.J. Cook, observed yesterday. She hit the nail on the head. This was Foster like you’ve never seen him before.

Mercilessly poking fun at himself as he breezed through clips from movies he has scored or written songs for, Foster — with an assist from actor-TV personality Terry David Mulligan — captivated a full house at the Victoria Conference Centre with anecdotes, off-colour remarks and quick wit suggesting he could reinvent himself as a talk show host.

“He kills her in the movie, you know,” Foster jokingly warned the crowd after showing a clip from Lipstick in which Mariel Hemingway winces at the sound of grating synthesizer music composed by Foster, which he passed off as the creation of her homicidal male admirer. “Let that be a lesson to all of you who don’t like my music.”

Tripping down memory lane through 30 years of his movie music, it was amazing to see how much Foster has done on film as clips rolled by from Summer Lovers, Sleepless in Seattle, Moulin Rouge and dozens of other flicks.

“It’s not that I’m that into myself,” he joked before rolling footage of his early years, narrated by none other than Michael Caine. While the slickness was expected from a guy who never does anything halfway, what did come as a surprise was his looseness, irreverence and off-colour humour, and apparent relief at being liberated from the decorum of fundraisers.

“It’s awful in every way,” said Foster of Two of a Kind before running a video of his duet with Olivia Newton-John.

He took great delight in showing footage of a duet with Barbra Streisand, especially the part where the superstar diva says: “David, I love your voice.”

Continue reading “Article: Fostering a new image”

Article: Stars come out and shine for Foster


David Foster


By Michelle Hopkins – Richmond News

They came to support one man’s vision.
The stars, the rich, bejeweled and famous, converged at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond Sunday night for the 2006 David Foster and Friends Charity Gala.
This year’s soldout soiree raised a cool $2.9 million for the David Foster Foundation, topping last year’s unprecedented $2.8 million.

Nine-hundred guests paid more than $3,000 apiece for a coveted seat at the state-of-the-art theatre. The night began with a gourmet cocktail reception – a culinary adventure from around the globe. Under billowing white tents dockside, beautifully gowned women and men dined on lemongrass prawns, spring lamb racks and wild mushroom volcanoes while sipping wines and blue martinis.

Then it was into the theatre for a night to remember. The swank event started with a warm welcome from Premier Gordon Campbell.

Foster, a Grammy Award-winning music producer who’s written songs for Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Destiny’s Child and Andrea Bocelli, was stunned when Campbell announced a $250,000 provincial contribution to his foundation.

“You might be in big trouble tomorrow,” quipped Foster. “But I don’t give a shit. This is unbelievable. What a way to celebrate our 20th anniversary.”

The excitement was palpable as the who’s who of Vancouver – from Man in Motion Rick Hansen and Army & Navy owner Jacqui Cohen to Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan – hobnobbed in elegance and style while digging deep into their pockets during the live auction for extravagant prizes.

Burnaby’s own Michael Bublè‚ headlined the star-studded gala, which also had performances by 10-time Grammy Award-winner Babyface, Clay Aiken, comedian George Lopez, Daisy Fuentes, Matt Goss and a surprise appearance by Olivia Newton-John.

The winner of the David Foster Star Search, Vancouver’s Chè Dorval, 21, also performed at the event. She blew away the judges the previous night at the David Foster Star Search 2006.

Bublè had the crowd in the palm of his hands and received three standing ovations during his spectacular performance. Bublè, who celebrated his 31st birthday Saturday, had the audience up and dancing in front of the stage as he belted out his hit song Home, with Foster accompanying him on piano. Bublè, who hammed it up for the audience, saying: “I had to follow fricking Babyface, Clay Aiken and Matt Goss hum?”

To the delight of the crowd, he impersonated a young Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder and Dean Martin.

Australian singing sensation Newton-John looked stunning as she sang Physical and I Honestly Love You.

Backstage earlier, Newton-John told the News how thrilled she was to be in Vancouver, as she swayed in a sheer, beige dress to Aiken’s rendition of Unchained Melody.

“I’m glad to do something for him (Foster) to help with his charity … it really is an honour to be here.

“I love Vancouver and I wish I had more time here,” she added. “I was at his first event 20 years ago in Victoria, so it’s a sort of homecoming.”

Lopez, whose ABC sitcom George Lopez is in its sixth season, thanked his wife Ann for giving him the gift of life – her kidney. He stayed much to himself backstage as Ann explained it’s his way to mentally prepare.

“I’m a transplant recipient,” he said. “My wife gave me her kidney a year-and-a-half ago so I know personally what the families are going through.”

Lopez had the audience in stitches when he spoke of golfing in B.C.: “I love Canada, I can come here and legally hit something white.”

Meanwhile, British chart topper Matt Goss shared a hug with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, with whom he collaborated on the track It’s the End of the Road for FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance.

Goss told the News: “It’s so great to see you here and for me to be here is a real honour. I love Vancouver and hope to perform here again.”

This year, the David Foster Foundation – which has assisted 275 families with children in need of major organ transplants – celebrates its 20th anniversary.

“It’s hard to believe its been 20 years since my mom (the late Eleanor Foster) called me in Los Angeles and asked me to visit a child in Victoria who had to travel to L.A. for a liver transplant,” said Foster. “I did and when I asked her what I could do, she asked if I could send her sister to L.A. to be with her.”

That simple request spawned the David Foster Foundation.

The foundation provides funding for non-medical expenses to families of children undergoing organ transplants – easing the horrible financial and emotional burdens of families who often have to leave behind jobs and families. The foundation covers the costs of everything from transportation to and from the hospital to mortgage payments.

Source: Richmond News
More info: David Foster Foundation

Article: Foster to take charity group to national stage


David Foster and Friends Charity Gala


This is an article by Angela Pacienza – Canadian Press:

TORONTO — B.C.’s famous music impresario, David Foster, is the man behind Chicago’s Hard To Say I’m Sorry and the St. Elmo’s Fire hit, Man In Motion. As a writer and producer, he has worked with the likes of Céline Dion, Natalie Cole, Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton.

But the Victoria-born Foster donned his humanitarian hat yesterday to announce that after 20 years of helping B.C. families with children who need organ transplants, his foundation is going national.

The composer and producer said he hopes the foundation — rather than his musical successes — will become his greatest legacy.

“I just think 50 years from now . . . the music will fade, probably. I’m not Mozart,” he said in an interview. “But if we build an endowment and the foundation is still going 50 or 100 years from now because of the groundwork we laid, that’s pretty impressive.”

Established in 1986, the David Foster Foundation helps fund non-medical needs of families who have a child undergoing an organ transplant. It helps families stay financially afloat when parents take time off work, covering things like transportation, mortgage payments and even meals.

To date, the foundation has helped more than 250 families.

Mr. Foster started the foundation after visiting a four-year-old Victoria girl who was getting treatment in Los Angeles, where he lives. The girl, who didn’t survive, told him her biggest wish was to see her sister — who was stuck back home.

“I realized that for the price of an airline ticket, which back then was $60, I could make this young four-year-old’s greatest wish come true,” recalled Mr. Foster.

The first event to raise money for the expanded foundation will be a gala concert in September in Niagara Falls. It will be headlined by Mr. Bocelli, whose most recent album Amore was produced by Mr. Foster.

Fundraising events are also being planned for Nova Scotia and possibly Alberta, Mr. Foster told reporters yesterday in Toronto.


Article: David Foster gets by with a Little Help from his Friends

David and Celine


Story by Jim Tobler

Photography by Jerry Metellus

Most Canadians, thankfully, will not have to experience the dialysis facilities at a major urban hospital any time in their life. That should not diminish the fact, though, that these exist, and are populated with energetic staff and doctors, and a pretty determined bunch of patients, all of whom are awaiting kidney transplants and going through the arduous process of thrice-weekly dialysis treatments, in and of itself a full time job. And there is the major rub, since medical services plans can cover many direct expenses, but cannot (or at this
point at least, will not) cover the purgatorial situation induced by such things as mortgages, travel, out of town accommodation, and wage loss. Then, when you consider what all of this might be like for a young child and their family, you get an even better view of how much funding is actually needed to make this all work in the real world.

There is a famous Canadian who has decided to try and make something of a difference in all of this. David Foster is forever in blue jeans. It somehow speaks to his Canadian heritage, and perhaps to his musical tastes. His abilities as a producer, what Butch Vig (of Garbage and Nirvana) would describe as the mind behind the glass, are pretty much unassailable, but what most folks might not realize is how he recognizes emerging talent and brings it forward. In a big kind of way. A Celine Dion big kind of way. But this is not actually about David, or Celine, or Dustin, or Barbra, or Sarah. It is about a certain group of people, children, who don’t, simply put, have the financial resources to help themselves, and the social support system, including the medical services plan in Canada, don’t provide them either.

For David Foster, it was a pretty straightforward moment, not exactly like Joyce and his idealized female standing in the Liffey with her skirts raised, but you get the idea. “Nineteen years ago, I was in a hospital in Los Angeles,” David says. “I was asked by my mother, in Victoria, to visit a child in hospital here, who was from Victoria. I stopped at her bedside, and we talked for awhile. I asked her what she wanted most in the world. She said ‘I want my mommy here.’ I thought to myself ‘This is crazy. For the price of an airplane ticket, $400, I could make this happen.’” It does, admittedly, take a great amount of extrapolation to go from this defining moment to the remarkable investment David has made in helping children and their families. But should you ever meet Foster, it likely would not surprise you.

He put it together in a unique way. This is about young people who require organ transplants, hearts, kidneys, and more, in order to survive. In most cases, the transplant itself is covered by medical insurance. But there is a rider to this, a practical consideration that no government considers. What are the costs to the family, and how do they bear these costs? We’re talking loss of income for parents who need to accompany their child to the site where the surgical specialist resides, often out of Canada, accommodation for a parent, the myriad unforeseen costs pertaining to such highly specialized surgery. Not to mention the fact that we are talking here about organ transplants. So, the David Foster Foundation was born.

There is a stern logic to this. David Foster is a Canadian, yes, and he to this day follows Canadian talents as they make their way across the Milky Way of the music industry. But he is the person who brought Celine Dion to the world, in terms of her voice, her sound, her fundamental appeal. He wrote the theme for the film St. Elmo’s Fire, and produced a prodigious amount of music for artists of all stripes and persuasions. Listen to the breezy track “Nothin’ You Can Do About It”, by Manhattan Transfer, and you’ll be able to almost instantly earmark David’s style. When we chat about his work with Chicago, it makes him smile, and says “That was a band that needed to re-establish how truly great they were. I guess most people would agree that they were not doing themselves justice there for awhile. But I was asked to do Chicago XVIII, and, you know, I loved Chicago. “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is”, “Color My World”, “25 or 6 to 4”, you know, all that classic stuff. But, when we started to work together, it was funny; some of the band didn’t even remember their early stuff. I looked at a couple of the horn charts, and I just knew it wasn’t their best stuff. I had to remind them, kind of say ‘this was so great, why don’t you give me something like this. Give me your best.’”

This excerpt is from the Winter 2005 issue of NUVO Magazine.  Copies are available at Chapters and Indigo locations across Canada or call 1.877.205.NUVO (6886).