HMCS York set to host Operation Glowing Hearts in Toronto

The third annual Operation Glowing Hearts in Toronto, will showcase Toronto musicians while highlighting the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre. Hosted by the Golden Dolphin Club, Junior Ranks Mess at HMCS York, the purpose of the concert is to unite military units, civilians and their families while raising funds for the Toronto MFRC.

After months of preparation, the stage is finally set for the concert on Jan. 30. The featured bands of the night are Birds of Bellwoods, a modern folk art group; Stella Ella Ola, a pop rock/punk band; and The Order of Good Cheer, more of a classic rock group. The bands are all local Toronto musicians and have donated their time to perform.

“We’re trying to hit a lot of different notes in terms of what people might like or what they can expect,” said Leading Seaman Ryan Lenssen, the Junior Ranks Entertainment Representative.

The evening is hosted by actor Kristian Bruun, known for his role in the TV show Orphan Black. A production company will be coming in to transform the area into a professional concert hall and concert enthusiasts attending the event can expect a wide array of food trucks.

Though a jam packed and entertaining night is planned, Lenssen says the focus of the event is the Toronto MFRC.

“A lot of people aren’t necessarily up to date or fully informed of what the MFRC does for us. So it will be a great learning and sharing experience for everyone,” explained Lenssen.

Op Glowing Hearts first started three years ago on a smaller scale as a night that was both fun and supported the MFRC. After being chosen to serve as the Junior Ranks Entertainment Rep, Lenssen and the President of the Mess Committee discussed ways to take the event to the next level.

“He and I talked and we agreed that we should see if we can’t make this event something larger than what the initial intention was and see if we could combine the local military units, if we could bring them all together, and combine that with the local arts community to see if we could build an event that would truly bring the MFRC into the limelight and make all members in area more familiar with them as well a mission that was to support those that support us,” said Lenssen.

Lenssen has worked with other units to ensure that night is a united front across the board at HMCS York.

“This is kind of a unique opportunity. This isn’t something that happens all the time in York…I think it’s a pretty unique opportunity for this sort of an event. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun… it’s just show up, have a good time, enjoy yourselves and hopefully mingle with other military members and the Toronto MFRC. Just learn and have a good time,” noted Lenssen

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at HMCS York’s Ship’s Office or at the Toronto MFRC. All net proceeds will be donated to the TMFRC. For more information and tickets email opglowinghearts@gmail.com.

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