CHICAGO, Illinois — Global Citizen is famous for their annual music festival, the Global Citizen Concert, held at Central Park in New York City, with this year’s acts including Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar and Metallica. However, on September 17th, for the first time in the organization’s history, Global Citizen hosted a concert in Montreal, Canada to celebrate the progress that is being made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Global Citizen is a social action organization that hopes to end extreme global poverty by 2030. According to their website, the organization plans to reach this goal through the actions of their immense network of advocates, most importantly via their “emails, tweets, petition signatures and phone calls targeting world leaders.” Since the organization’s inception in 2012, these “global citizens” have helped raise more than $25.6 billion in aid.
This year’s Global Citizen Concert at the Bell Center featured Usher and a number of Canadian artists, including Half Moon Run, Grimes and Metric. Similar to their New York City festival, all of the concert’s 10,000 tickets were free. In order to enter the lottery to obtain a ticket, you had to complete five simple tasks: take a quiz and share a video, sign a petition motivating world leaders to support the Global Fund, send an email asking world leaders to increase funding for the elimination of polio, call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to invest in international health and development, and sign a petition in support of education for young girls.
Global Citizen decided to expand its reach and bring a concert to Canada because on September 16, the day before the event, the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his home country.
The summit, according to a news report released by The Global Fund, will “bring global health leaders together to further mobilize efforts to end the epidemics of three of the world’s most devastating diseases.” Over the next three years, Trudeau has pledged CAD 785 million to the Global Fund, marking a strong commitment to the financing institution.
The Global Citizen Concert, which will be attended by Trudeau, gives everyday citizens the chance to become advocates and enjoy the music of some of the most talented artists from Canada and beyond.
– Liam Travers