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Elton John will headline Fashion Cares in September

Event will benefit both ACT and Elton John's AIDS Foundation

David Furnish and Sir Elton John. Credit: Xtra file photo

Fashion Cares is back, and this year Sir Elton John will be the headliner, the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) announced Feb 28.

The Sept 9 fashion and fundraising event, chaired by Michael King and David Furnish, will feature a gala party, an intimate dinner and a live show, with performances by John and other notable international musicians to be announced later this spring. Tickets go on sale in March.

“2012 is going to be a very special year for Fashion Cares as we partner with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to transform Fashion Cares from a Toronto-based initiative into one that reaches and helps Canadians nationwide,” King states in an ACT news release.

The event will be held at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, with creative direction by Fashion Cares pioneer Phillip Ing.

The event debuted in 1987; its mix of style, music, philanthropy and activism eventually made it one of Toronto’s top events, until a 2007 attempt to reinvent the fundraiser at the Distillery District proved disastrous. Up to that point, Fashion Cares had contributed nearly $12 million to HIV/AIDS programs. Then, in 2009, organizers announced that they planned to take some time off.

Money raised through Fashion Cares 2012 will benefit both ACT and John’s AIDS foundation.

“Fashion Cares been a mainstay of the AIDS Committee of Toronto for 25 years,” states Hazelle Palmer, executive director of ACT. “Much has changed, but unfortunately the AIDS crisis is still here. We’re lucky to have the support of a caring creative community that understands why it’s important to continue the fight.”

John, who considers himself “an honorary Canadian,” says his foundation provides vital HIV treatment programs across Canada, ACT states in its release.

“For both my foundation and ACT, Fashion Cares 25 provides an opportunity to pay tribute to those we have lost and to send an important message: HIV and AIDS are still prevalent both in Canada and throughout the world,” John states.

Here’s Xtra‘s video report from Fashion Cares in 2008: