For a little over 25 years I have been blessed through my music to travel the world and entertain, over the course of that time I have shared the stage with some true legends of the music world the Chieftains, Nana Mouskouri, the Seekers, the Boston Pops and too many more to mention. I have performed on some of the most iconic stages like Wembley, Herodes Atticus, Fenway Park is always a favourite and I had the joy of discovering, and in some cases mentoring, up and coming new young artists, sharing the stage with them and in a few cases watching them grow into true stars. On this journey I have also had the distinct honour and privilege of sharing the stage with a group of incredibly talented musicians whom I am blessed to call my friends – “the band“ – none better, I think, than the present group with whom I share the stage throughout the year: Jason Fowler (19 years with me) and Mark Lalama, and for the past three years as the Christmas season approaches I have had the pleasure of Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine (Dala) and Drew Jurecka also joining us on stage. For me, it’s the best group I have ever worked with.
What I am most proud of is how we have taken the success that I have achieved over the years and through the support and generosity of a truly loyal group of fans from all over the world, who have continually purchased my music and year after year attended my shows and supported my efforts towards making this world a better place.
Since 1996 my focus has been towards Veterans in Canada and the United States, and shining a light on them. Acknowledging the sacrifices they have made to make our world a safer and better place, to make sure that we don’t forget them, and to make sure their needs are recognized and met. Through extraordinary people like Thomas J Lyons USMC (Ret) from Boston and Frank Carroll from Worcester Mass., we are making a difference. With Tom Lyons and the Semper Fidelis Society of Boston, the Congressional Medal of Honour Society, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Program we have helped to better the lives of veterans and their families throughout the U.S. With Frank Carrol through the St. John’s Food For the Poor Program we have been able to help feed and cloth on a daily basis, hundreds of homeless individuals, and to feed the children and assist families who are less fortunate than ourselves. This is an ongoing and growing need and we will strive to continue to meet this demand. I am blessed and honoured to be working with these two champions and hope to do so for many years to come.
In Canada I started the McDermott House Canada Foundation in memory of my parents. My father was a veteran (RAF) and in November 1994 two months before his passing he asked if I were ever successful at the world of entertaining, that I direct my success towards giving back to Canada and to the veterans who sacrificed so much for this great country of ours. The initial project and commitment of McDermott House Canada is the renovation and expansion of the palliative care unit in the veterans wing (K Wing) at Sunnybrook Health Sciences in Toronto, the largest veterans hospital in Canada. The funds required to complete the renovation are 3.6 million dollars and we hope to complete that fundraising effort in 2020. Once this is done I plan to focus McDermott House Canada Foundations resources and fundraising efforts on Hospice care, locally and nationally.
I hope that you will continue to support me and McDermott House Canada and help me to continue to serve those who serve and have served. Help improve the conditions and environment around those at a time in their lives when needed the most – in the declining stages of end of life – by offering them love, support and dignity.
As I look to the future as an entertainer, I plan on continuing to perform each year during the months of September through December. I will still have a few public shows that will happen throughout the other months of the year, but going forward I plan to focus on awareness of and fundraising for Hospice locally and nationally during that time frame.
I will also continue to support Thomas J. Lyons and Frank Carroll in their work to support our Veteran community and the community of the homeless. We will support families and individuals who are struggling to give what a family needs: food, shelter, friendship, love and dignity in times of need.
At the present time I am working with Mark Lalama and Jason Fowler on a new recording, “Around The Corner” for release in 2020.
The book I have been working on for the last few years is something I hope to complete in 2020, now entitled “The Accidental Tenor”.
I want to thank everyone for their continued support and wish each and every one of you a joyful Christmas and a blessed and happy New Year. We look forward to seeing all in 2020 when we tour near you.
John, Jason, Mark
Robert Herjavec, David Foster and John
The great Mark Messier
John and the Sisters
Moonlight over the lake
McDermott House Canada is a registered charity dedicated to serving those that serve.
Our first project is in support of Veterans, First Responders and Community Patients as they enter the final stages of a terminal illness. In October of 2014, Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation in Toronto received $1.2 Million dollars from MHC to be used to rebuild and renovate the Palliative care unit at K-Wing.
If you would like to make a donation in support of McDermott House Canada, or to make an inquiry about hosting an event in support of our cause, please visit mcdermotthousecanada.org or contact Stephanie Wilsack, Executive Director of MHC at 416 236 9000 ext. 1
Show with The Burlington Male Welsh Choir