The rain was falling quite steadily for much of the early evening, but by the time Michel Pagliaro and Corey Diabo took their seats on stage in a Laval parking lot, it didn’t matter, and no one cared.
Rève dans la Nuit drew some 800 people Saturday night say organizers, the tents outside Sami Fruits filled with guests wining on craft beers and fine wines, dining on tacos, seafood, souvlaki and pasta, and rocking and grooving to hours of live and eclectic music while raising funds for three worthy causes.
Headlining the shindig were Pagliaro, Roch Voisine, along with a host of other performers, including Pierre Perpall, the Boogie Wonder Band, Nancy Martinez, Ravi Soca, Back Traxx and the dynamic and crowd-energizing Carla Bengivengo.
Organizers had not yet tallied the take, but the charity gourmet gala, a sister event to the Strangers in the Night bash last month in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, featured dozens of restaurants on-site sharing their flavours for the party that raised vital cash for the Charles Bruneau, Children’s Wish, and Heart and Stroke Foundations.
Emceed by Rhythme FM’s Jean-Yves Lemay and The Beat 92.5’s own Nikki Balch, the event also featured live auctions of paintings created on stage by artist Eric Waugh and other prizes.
Pagliaro kibitzed with the crowd, the 70-year-old Quebec rock icon playing an intimate guitar set with Diabo, thrilling the audience with classics from his 50-year career as one of the most prolific songwriters of his era.
Next came Voisine, who quickly and smoothly launched into his iconic international chart-busting Hélene, prompting a large chorus of backup vocals from the crowd and a flood of tears from self-described “biggest Roch Voisine fan on the planet” Émilie Bélanger of Mascouche. Bélanger discovered and fell in love with the heart-throb at the age of four, waiting with her husband David Pellerin at the fence up front for five hours to see her idol up close for the first time.
Founded in 1990 by a group of parents and friends of children with cancer, the Charles Bruneau Foundation works for pediatric hematology and oncology research with facilities across Quebec. The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is the largest wish granting charity dedicated to granting wishes to Canadian children between the ages of 3 and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Every seven minutes, someone in Canada dies from heart disease and stroke according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, a leading funder of life-saving research which has led to breakthroughs in heart transplant surgery and revolutionary stroke treatment.