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Martha Wainwright and friends are staging a benefit concert for Centennial Academy
Martha Wainwright and friends are staging a benefit concert for Centennial Academy

When Martha Wainwright was talking to Angela Burgos, head of Centennial Academy, about ways to raise money and awareness about the school, Wainwright immediately thought of organizing a concert.

“I thought of the concert because it’s something I have experience doing,” said Wainwright in a recent interview at Centennial, which is now located just to the west of Collège de Montréal on Sherbrooke St. W. in a building that used to be a home for retired priests.

“My brother Rufus and I raise money with our Christmas concerts and so we have a model that we’ve done for many years now,” Wainwright said. “So when I was talking to Angela and different parents and the board, and they were saying, ‘How do we get the city to know about us? How do we raise money?’, I just put my hand up and said, ‘Well, one way I know how to raise money and raise awareness is by doing these concerts and I could help out with that. That’s what I could contribute.’ And they were like, ‘Who can you get?’ And I said I can get some artists, some friends, and we have several parents here, like Marie-Pierre Arthur, whose kid goes here, and (actor and comic) Martin Petit, and of course they’re going to participate in the concert. But the main thing is, yes, we will get some stars to sell the tickets because that’s really important, but let’s hear from the kids. And let’s hear what they can do.”

The result is a concert on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Le National (1220 Ste-Catherine St. E.) featuring Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Ariane Moffatt and Jordan Officer, with Petit hosting. There will also be students from the school on stage accompanying the musicians.