News

Dream Serenade 2018 Summer Bursary is now accepting applications

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 dreamserenadetoronto@gmail.com.


5th Annual Dream Serenade artist lineup announcement and ticket details

5th Annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert poster

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.


2018 Summer Bursary Program update

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!


Announcing the 5th Annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert

Save the Date graphic for the 5th Annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert

Dream Serenade returns for the 5th year, this time at Roy Thomson Hall! Further details about this year’s performers will be announced in September.

We hope to see you there!

About Us

Dream Serenade began in 2014 as an event to raise funds for Toronto’s Beverley Street School and services for children with developmental and or physical disabilities and their caregivers. The reach of these show proceeds has now grown to benefit other like-minded schools in the city, support a year-round Family Relief Respite Fund and establish a Summer Bursary Fund to assist eligible Toronto-area families in accessing summer programming.

The show, created by Toronto musician Hayden Desser and Christie Greyerbiehl, features unique live performances and collaborations from local and international artists who generously donate their talents to this worthy cause.

Previous years have included memorable appearances by: Feist, Gord Downie, members of The National, Broken Social Scene, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Sloan, Bahamas, Serena Ryder, The Persuasions, Joel Plaskett, Sarah Harmer, Tanya Tagaq and many others.


Thank you from Hayden & Christie

Handwritten thank you note from Hayden & Christie


Announcing the 4th Annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert

4th Annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert poster

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