April 20, 2021

Last year, we took our usual Dream Serenade concert online and created a series of fundraising events that included an online merch shop, virtual auction and livestream concert. The continued spirit and generosity of our community through these fundraising activities have allowed us to continue our annual Bursary program — thank you!

The Family Relief Summer 2021 Bursary is an initiative from Dream Serenade intended to provide financial support for Toronto students with exceptionalities and their families during the coming Summer months. Applications are now open.

Who can apply?

Any Toronto District School Board student with a developmental disability who is enrolled in an Intensive Support Program and/or a congregated school is eligible. Bursaries will be awarded on a first come-first served basis as available funding remains, with priority to first-time Bursary recipients.

How do you apply?

Easy-to-complete applications are available now through the ‘Bursary’ tab on the Dream Serenade website, through your school Principals or social workers.

How much is available?

A $300 bursary is available per eligible child per household and may be used towards expenses related to food, caregiving, supplies and equipment needed during this time.

When do I apply?

Applications are being accepted now and as available funding remains, and may be submitted online or through your school principal/assigned social worker. Please direct any further questions to [email protected].

Wishing you all a safe and smiling summer,
Dream Serenade Team

November 24, 2020

The 7th Annual Dream Serenade (virtual edition) will feature performances by Feist, Kathleen Edwards, Dan Mangan, Kevin Drew & Brendan Canning, William Prince, Kevin Hearn & Hugh Marsh, Lou Canon, Hayden Desser and special guests.

The overwhelming support from our community has allowed us to open up a second batch of tickets for the show this Saturday, November 28. Ticket links will be a live broadcast of the sold out interactive show and are on sale now! Details at https://linktr.ee/DreamSerenade

November 2, 2020

Our usual night of community celebration and fundraising at Dream Serenade is going to look a bit different this year. While we can't be together at Roy Thomson Hall for the 7th annual show, we hope to bring the same extraordinary spirit of the evening to a live virtual performance event on November 28th that you and your family can watch from home! This virtual show will run for about 1.5 hours including performances from Hayden Desser and special guests. Tickets are on sale now at https://linktr.ee/DreamSerenade.

There are some other fundraising efforts that we will be running throughout the month as well.

In place of the usual Silent Auction that we hold at Dream Serenade, we are putting together a virtual “Market” that will run through social media (@dreamserenade and our friends @galentines). Throughout November, we will post a range of items big and small that have been donated by individuals and businesses. There will also be some extra special "priceless" items up for auction at the end of the month. Dream Serenade’s online Merch Shop will be live throughout November as well, with exclusive items from previous year’s shows available as well as new merchandise for pre-order.

More information on the Market, the Merch Shop and Dream Serenade online donations can all be found at https://linktr.ee/DreamSerenade.

This year, Dream Serenade created the COVID Family Relief Bursary to better meet the current needs of our community during these challenging times. We were able to provide 144 families around the GTA with this relief support but overwhelmingly received more than 450 applications in one week - more than double what we typically receive over an entire summer period. With your help, we are aiming to continue the COVID Family Relief Bursary through this virtual live event and fundraising efforts.

We hope to see you and your family on November 28th!

Dream Serenade Team

June 3, 2020

The response we received to the Dream Serenade COVID Summer Family Relief Bursary was overwhelming, with more applications coming in one day than we typically see all Summer Season. The application is now closed.

We are continually striving to find new ways to get much needed support out to the community during this challenging time. If you have already indicated that you are willing to be contacted by us, we will keep your information on file to notify you of new initiatives moving forward. If you would like to provide us with your email now for future notices, please complete the adjusted form under the 'Bursary' tab on our website.

We look forward to future opportunities to support you and your family.

June 1, 2020

The Dream Serenade COVID Summer Family Relief Bursary has been created to help support our community with necessary expenses during this challenging time. New applications are now being accepted online through the 'Bursary' tab on this website. This program replaces the usual Summer Bursary support for Summer Camps and Programming.

Who can apply?
Toronto District School Board students with a physical or developmental disability are eligible. Bursaries will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Efforts will be made to distribute new bursaries to as many schools in the GTA as possible.

How much is available?
A $500 bursary is available per eligible family. Successful applicants will receive cheques by mail directly to the parent or guardian listed on the application. All cheques will be mailed out in July.

Applications are being accepted now until June 30, 2020 (or until all available bursaries have been distributed) and may be submitted online through the Dream Serenade website. Please direct any further questions to [email protected].

May 4, 2020

March 29, 2020

September 27, 2019

Toronto's annual Dream Serenade benefit concert is back for its sixth year supporting and celebrating the Toronto community of children with developmental and/or physical disabilities and their caregivers. This year, on Saturday, November 2 at 8pm, the concert will feature sets from Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National), July Talk, Barenaked Ladies, Hayden, Shad, U.S. Girls, Donovan Woods and very special surprise guests. Once again, Dream Serenade will take place at Roy Thomson Hall, sister venue to its regular home at Massey Hall while it undergoes an historic revitalization.

Tickets for Dream Serenade are on sale now at the Roy Thomson Hall box office, by phone at 416-872-4255 or web at roythomsonhall.com.

Dream Serenade has become one of Toronto's most highly anticipated annual events, combining a celebration of a hard working community while raising money and awareness for schools and services for children with developmental and/or physical disabilities and their caregivers. The popular annual event has now expanded to support other like-minded schools and care-centres in the GTA and raise funds that directly assist Toronto area families with a large summer camp bursary fund. This past summer, Dream Serenade audiences helped send 100 children to summer camp and/or specialized summer programming.

To support Dream Serenade with a tax-receipt eligible online donation, please visit us here.

September 12, 2019

Tickets for the 6th annual Dream Serenade benefit concert will be on sale Friday, September 13 at 10am EST through the box office at roythomsonhall.com or by phone at 416-872-4255.

Performers will be announced later this month.

June 19, 2019

Dream Serenade returns to Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday, November 2! Line up and ticket info will be shared in September.

March 8, 2019

The Dream Serenade Summer Bursary is now proudly accepting applications for this year. If your child has developmental and / or physical disabilities, and part of the Toronto District School Board, you are eligible for a $500 bursary to assist in Camp enrolment fees and or One-on-One Support expenses for Summer programming. The easily completed application can be accessed here on the Dream Serenade website and submitted online; physical copies of the application are also available from your school principal.

Complete applications will be accepted until May 31, 2019.

Any questions can be directed to [email protected].

September 10, 2018

It’s hard to believe that we are about to celebrate the 5th annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert. This year’s show will take place at Roy Thomson Hall (as our regular home, Massey Hall, is undergoing its two-year revitalization) on Saturday, November 17 2018.

City and Colour, Barenaked Ladies, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Owen Pallett, Hayden, Weaves and Iskwé will be all be performing this year. And as usual, there will be some exciting special guests (past surprise guests have included Gord Downie, Jim Cuddy, Kevin Drew and others). The silent auction will return and take place on the night of the show for attendees in the Hall.

Tickets for Dream Serenade will be on sale this Friday, September 14 at 10am EST and available at the Roy Thomson Hall box office, by phone at 416-872-4255 or web at roythomsonhall.com.

Proceeds from the Dream Serenade support Toronto's community of children with physical and developmental disabilities and their caregivers, and will continue to fund the year-round respite Family Relief Fund as well as an extended Summer Bursary Program. This past summer, Dream Serenade was able to assist over 50 families in the Greater Toronto Area in accessing Summer camps and programming through the initial Summer Bursary offering.

To support Dream Serenade with a tax-receipt eligible online donation, please visit us here.

July 4, 2018

Dream Serenade is happy to offer an extended Summer Bursary Program this year, offering financial assistance to families and caregivers towards Summer Programming for eligible children in the Greater Toronto Area. Recipients of this year's Bursary will be notified over the next two weeks.

Thank you to all applicants, we wish everyone a safe and wonderful Summer!

May 17, 2018

December 3, 2017

September 11, 2017

For the past three years, the Dream Serenade Benefit concert has treated audiences to an array of renowned artists while celebrating the community of children with exceptionalities and their caregivers.

We’re so pleased to announce that the fourth annual instalment will once again take place at its home in Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall on Saturday, November 11th, 2017.

This year’s performers include Sloan, Sam Roberts, Owen Pallett, Skydiggers, Hannah Georgas and The Big Sound. We’ve also lined up a few special guests that will not disappoint! (If you were at last year’s show, you’ll know not to arrive late…)

Please join us to raise funds, awareness, and to give thanks to this wonderful community. Tickets are on sale Friday, September 15 at 10am EST through the Massey Hall website, by phone or box office.

— Hayden & Christie

The First Three Years

Dream Serenade was established in 2014 by Toronto musician Hayden Desser and his wife Christie Greyerbiehl, who also produce the event, as an annual concert to benefit Toronto’s Beverley Junior Public School and other GTA schools that support children with special needs, and to support the Family Relief Fund, which provides respite to parents and caregivers. The evening is also a celebration of teachers and volunteers who care for the city’s children year-round. “This annual concert is not just a way to contribute much-needed funding to those who need it most,” commented Greyerbiehl. “It’s also an evening that celebrates the tireless work of the teachers, parents and caregivers who provide essential support to our city’s children – and who do so without much in the way of applause.”

In just a few short years, over $150,000 has been raised thanks to those who generously volunteered their time and talents. “Dream Serenade began as a way to raise funds for our daughter’s incredible school, but it’s become so much more than that,” added Hayden. “It's become an essential part of our lives, and the ideal way to celebrate this community of inspiring people.”

Past performers include:

2016 2015 2014
Broken Social Scene Bahamas Feist
Gord Downie Joel Plaskett Matt Berninger & Aaron Dessner from The National
Barenaked Ladies Serena Ryder Billy Talent
The Persuasions Hayden Barenaked Ladies
Dan Mangan Kevin Hearne and Thin Buckle Sarah Harmer
Hayden TUNS Hayden
Amy Millan The Weather Station Jason Collett
Lou Canon Choir! Choir! Choir! Grey Lands
Lou Canon

Some Words on Dream Serenade:

The massive audience seemed both extremely enthusiastic about the cause and entirely open to the somewhat unconventional format — short sets from a wide range of performers…though Hayden was the de facto recipient of all this affection, the outpouring of love and creativity showed that he has clearly tapped into a very special idea for a very extraordinary cause."

— 10/10, Chris Bilton, Exclaim! Magazine

But it was the quiet moments that set the Dream Serenade apart: when one could give pause and appreciate the collective of musicians gathering for an extraordinarily vital cause. […] The second annual Dream Serenade was referred to as a “night out” for fans, but given the intimate nature of the performances it felt more like a night in with friends: both local and out-of-town musicians let their guard down for a special, unforgettable evening."

— NNNNN, Joshua Kloke, Now Magazine

For over five years, Toronto songwriter Hayden Desser and his wife, Christie Greyerbiehl, have been hatching a plan. It started coming together bit by small, embryonic bit, beginning when their first child was born with a rare chromosome condition that triggered a developmental disability. But despite the unexpected challenge, hope, not sadness or surrender, prevailed. […] Recently come to fruition, that idea became Dream Serenade."

— Todd Aalgaard, Post City Magazine

I took in Hayden’s Dream Serenade through an older but not necessarilyer lens this year. When he played No Happy Birthday solo, with a slow-motion video of his non-verbal daughter projected in the background, the emotional weight completely moved me."

— Joshua Kloke, “7 Shows That Made Now Critics Cry This Year”, Now Magazine


October 26, 2016


August 11, 2016

We're very excited to announce the third annual Dream Serenade benefit concert on October 22, 2016 at Toronto’s Massey Hall. Those of you who have generously supported us over the last couple of years know how special this night has become: artists like Feist, Matt and Aaron from The National, Bahamas, Serena Ryder, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Joel Plaskett and many others have generously volunteered their time and talents to perform intimate and inspiring performances on the stage of the legendary Massey Hall. Over $125,000 has been raised towards schools and services for children with developmental and / or physical disabilities, a new playground is underway for the students of Beverley Street School, a Family Relief Fund offering respite services is now active and last year we were able to award $20,000 to Toronto’s George Webster Elementary School for upgrades to their classrooms.

This annual concert is not just a way to contribute much needed funding to those that need it most within this community, but it’s an evening that celebrates the tireless work that teachers, parents and caregivers provide year round to children in our city, without the applause. This year, Broken Social Scene, Dan Mangan, Amy Millan (of Stars), Barenaked Ladies, The Persuasions, Lou Canon and more will help give us another unforgettable night. We hope you will join us.‎

Dream Serenade has become much more than its beginnings as a way to raise funds for our daughter's incredible school. It's now a very important part of our lives and a perfect way to celebrate a community of inspiring people.

— Hayden Desser & Christie Greyerbiehl (co-presenters)

Tickets for Dream Serenade ranging from $25-$100 can be purchased at the Massey Hall box office, by phone at 416-872-4255 or online at masseyhall.com



October 23, 2015

The Second Annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert has come and gone. It was a spectacular celebration of the community of children with developmental and / or physical disabilities and their teachers, parents and caregivers. If you joined us, thanks again for your support. If you missed it, please consider it next year and read NOW's perfect score review of the show here:

It's also not too late to donate to this wonderful cause. Here's the link:


October 16, 2015

Dream Serenade 2015Dream Serenade will return to Massey Hall this year on October 17, 2015 for its second year supporting services for children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers. Last year's inaugural event featured performances from Feist, Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner of The National, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Sarah Harmer, Jason Collett, Grey Lands (Wayne Petti), Lou Canon, and Hayden himself.

We're pleased to announce that this year's Dream Serenade concert has the exciting additions of special guest Serena Ryder, and performances by Bahamas, Kevin Hearn & Thin Buckle and Choir! Choir! Choir!. They join the previously announced line up of Hayden, Joel Plaskett, The Weather Station and TUNS (Chris Murphy, Mike O'Neill and Matt Murphy).

"Last year's Dream Serenade was such a remarkable event. It brought together the parents, families & caregivers of children with physical and / or developmental disabilities, their teachers and school staff and the broader community in celebration and awareness. With voices and sounds, we shook the walls of the legendary Massey Hall. No one left the building unmoved by the talent on stage, the images on screen, the generosity, and the spirit of the occasion.

Last year we raised over $100,000 with proceeds currently working towards the completion of a new green playground at Beverley St School with plans approved and groundbreaking this Spring! A respite fund for caregivers has also been established with applications available this September.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2nd annual Dream Serenade. This year's money raised will continue to benefit Toronto's Beverley Street School and the Family Relief Fund for caregivers, as well as an additional special needs school within the Toronto District School Board to be determined through an online video application process.

We hope you'll join us this Saturday, October 17th. Please stay posted as we announce more incredible artists who will be performing." -H & C

Tickets are on sale now starting at $35 through the Massey Hall website at www.masseyhall.com or at the Massey Box Office by phone at 416-872-4255.


April 13, 2015

Dream Serenade is an annual benefit concert organized by Toronto musician Hayden Desser and his wife Christie Greyerbiehl. Proceeds are directed to much needed schools, pre-schools, hospitals and respite services that support children with developmental and/or physical disabilities and their families.‎

Hey Love Album CoverThe first annual concert took place at the legendary Massey Hall in Toronto on October 25, 2014. Those in attendance were treated to unforgettable performances by Feist, Matt and Aaron from The National, Billy Talent, Barenaked Ladies, Sarah Harmer, Hayden, Jason Collett, Greylands and Lou Canon.

the outpouring of love and creativity showed that they have clearly tapped into a very special idea for a very extraordinary cause. Dream Serenade found a number of artists ascending to a whole new level by getting outside their respective comfort zones.

— 10/10, Exclaim!

Money raised through ticket sales and donations from last year's concert went to Toronto's Beverley School, as well as a family relief fund for caregivers that was created behind the event. This exceptional school uses a team-based approach to support the educational needs of students with developmental and / or physical disabilities.‎ Proceeds from Dream Serenade will help ensure that Beverley can continue to provide cutting edge educational initiatives and make sure their students are able to access technology that supports their independence.

These funds raised will also enable Beverley to build a green space on school grounds allowing urban students to experience the colours, smells and textures of being outdoors.

An amazing $100,00.00 was raised at Dream Serenade 2014 and construction on the green space starts this Spring!‎


For questions and inquiries about Dream Serenade, please contact Dara Kartz at [email protected].