TORONTO – It started as a vision for Peter Ruparelia, and the rest, he says, he’s just leaving in God’s hands.
His vision, Voices of the Nations, is a multi-denominational, multicultural concert and celebration of faith to be held Aug. 14 at Toronto’s Mel Lastman Square. This year’s concert will mark its third year of serving as an outreach to Christians across the city, supporting Christian music, embracing diversity and aiding those in need.
“The idea is to unite us all for at least one day, put aside our differences and praise God who is Jesus Christ,” said Ruparelia.
The concert, which will run all day, will feature 29 different acts including Catholic praise and worship band Critical Mass and award-winning vocalist Jimmy Lee Howard. All acts, ranging from choirs and bands to dance teams and solo artists, are performing as volunteers.
“Whenever you have a vision,” said Ruparelia, “it always expands.”
The event began in 2006 with a concert designed to promote Christian artists. After returning in 2009, Voices of the Nation is now holding a food drive as part of the event. While admission is free, those who attend are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to Cafe Adonai, a Hamilton, Ont., lounge and outreach centre that hosts Bible studies, counselling programs and youth nights. All donations will be used by Cafe Adonai at its free weekly community meals.
Plans for a 2011 Voices of the Nations at Dundas Square have already begun.
Like the acts that will be performing, Ruparelia’s role is voluntary. He and his wife have been working together to book performers, find sponsors and manage the schedule.
“It’s been a struggle, but God has given me the grace to battle through,” said Ruparelia.
Voices of the Nations runs from noon to 9 p.m.
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