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'Spurs and Stilettos' fundraiser for Heartland Hospice to feature Johner Brothers

The annual fundraiser gala will be a country music-themed cabaret held at the Moose Jaw Events Centre on April 12
'Spurs and Stilettos', a cabaret fundraiser to benefit Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw, will feature the Johner Brothers on Friday, April 12

Heartland Hospice has officially announced that its annual fundraiser gala this year will be Spurs and Stilettos, a country music-themed cabaret featuring Saskatchewan country legends the Johner Brothers on Friday, April 12 at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw is a locally founded non-profit dedicated to establishing hospice/palliative care spaces in the city. They launched their Capital Campaign at their first annual gala in 2022, with the goal of raising $1 million.

"2024 is a huge year for Heartland Hospice for many reasons," said Sara Bryan, vice-chair of the Heartland Hospice board. "Not only is it the 10th anniversary of Heartland Hospice, but we hope to reach our Capital Campaign fundraising goal and, if all goes as planned, our hospice wing will be complete and open!

"In acknowledgement of these milestones, our board knew we wanted our annual fundraiser to be larger-scale than in previous years, to be a special 'thank you' to the community and a celebration of all the support we have received over the years. 

"Our community has been tremendously generous during our Capital Campaign and we are currently sitting around $780,000 raised/pledged towards our million-dollar goal. Of that incredible amount, $425,000 has come directly from farmers or agricultural businesses. Heartland Hospice's board thought that a country-themed cabaret fundraiser would be a great way to tip our hat to them."

If Heartland Hospice reaches its goal and construction proceeds, the end result will be three dedicated hospice-palliative bedrooms at Pioneer Lodge on Albert Street — the only such dedicated beds in the city.

There will also be specific hospice-palliative training for staff, a sacred space, family resource centre, and more. The organization has finalized agreements with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and now only needs to complete its funding drive.

Bryan said the Heartland Hospice board reached out to the Johner Brothers after confirming the Spurs and Stilettos country theme, feeling they were the perfect performers to honour generous rural donors.

"They are well known to all Saskys, extremely active in their annual work with Telemiracle, and are incredible entertainers that audiences rave about," Bryan explained. "We reached out to Brad Johner and were absolutely thrilled when he said they were interested and available."

The Johner Brothers formed in 1988 after growing up playing together. They won Duo of the Year from the Canadian Country Music Association in 1991 following the release of their first album Some Kind of Magic. After many more wins, dominating the Saskatchewan Country Music Association (SCMA) awards for a decade, they were named 'Entertainer of the Decade' by the SCMA in 1999 on the condition that was the only award they took home that year. 

Brad and Ken Johner released 26 singles from six hit albums before Ken retired from music in 2002. Brad went on to release six solo albums and was awarded 'Male Artist of the Year' by the CCMA. Now reunited, the brothers are backed by three of Brad's sons.

Tickets for Spurs and Stilettos, which will include a western-style dinner, plenty of dancing, and some yet-to-be-announced charity activities, went on sale on Jan. 16.

Tickets are discounted from now until Valentine's Day on or at the Moose Jaw Events Centre Box Office. They are $90 per person or $700 per table during the presale, and $100 per person or $750 per table after February 14.

"We are inviting the community to join us for a great evening out, and help us raise much-needed funds for the hospice wing expansion at the same time," Bryan said. "If local businesses, or anyone else, is interested in donating items for an auction, becoming an event sponsor, or simply would like to put up a poster for this event, we would love to hear from you! Please email or phone 306-690-8699."

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