How Can I get involved?
The most important thing anyone can do to help out is to tell people about the show.
Word of mouth is the greatest form of advertising.
The 2005 show was put together in just under 2 weeks and we had an amazing turn out.
The following year we doubled our attendance numbers.
The math is simple, the more people that come to the show means the more toys the kids will receive.
What happens to the toys once the show is over?
CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish picks the toys up immediately after the gig, and gets them to the children that need them the most.
Can I bring my kids to the show?
Absolutely! This show is a kid friendly event. We have had kid musicians in the past and are always proud of our young people who volunteer year after year. We love the "kids helping kids" theme.
We also have an "Activity Area" for the kids.
A place where they can, colour, create arts and crafts, have their face painted, write letters to Santa, and decorate cookies. We also have a Wii video game station area where kids can play video games with new friends they'll make the day of the show.
Is there a monetary cover charge?
No! Absolutely not. All we hope is that you'll be able to bring an unwrapped toy for a child in need.
Can I get up and jam (sing, play, or perform)?
To all those that have graciously offered their various musical talents, thank you all for the offer, but this year's line up is pretty much completely arranged and etched in stone. Unfortunately we only have a certain ammount of time to get everyone up, and keep the show moving along at a fairly decent rate. Most of the musicians that are going to be performing, signed on over a year ago. Please, do let me know if you're interested in maybe getting more involved next year though.
How much do the musicians get paid for the gig?
Just like everyone else at the show, all musicians are donating their time and talent.
Are there any CD's or videos of past shows?
There are a few clips from 2005, but nothing worth compiling a CD for. John McKinney has shot a video of every show since 2006 and every year makes up some great DVD's.
How did Neil get the Handle Uncle Neil?
I often get asked how I got the nickname Uncle Neil.
Well, first off and probably most obviously, I am an Uncle to a beautiful young lady named Amber. Who by the way, can sing her ass off. Youíd assume thatís where it all began. Youíd be wrong though. It actually started way back in the 80ís when I used to compete in the Scottish Highland Games Heavy Events. Tossing cabers and rocks, and other miscellaneous sweaty feats, performed by ridiculously huge muscular caveman type guys that had nothing better to do on a sunny weekend. One of the competitors who was a Toronto Police Officer, was a giant of a man with a heart of pure gold named Dan "Streetcar" Markovic. He started calling me "Junior". Mainly because at the time I wasnít nearly as big as some of the other guys. The name caught on quickly and unfortunately it became more of a shot at me by the other competitors than a friendly nickname. Dan, who was 6 foot 5, over three hundred pounds of solid muscle, and very well respected, (I think feared is more of the word Iíd use looking back) by the other competitors professional and amateur alike, took exception to this and just started calling me Uncle Neil. Heíd say it with a look in his eye as if to say;
"I dare someone to call him anything else"!
They would announce the names of the competitors at the end of every event over the loudspeakers at all the games. All the heavy event competitors had colourful nicknames, and mine was no different. It told a tale without ever having to explain the story. It stuck. For years even after I stopped competing, people would still call me Uncle Neil. I didnít mind. Truth be told I actually liked it. Amberís birth just kind of made it official. It has become my official title in every band I have been in since. Most guys I play with now just call me UN. Yeah, I admit, I like that too.
If I can't make the show, is there another way to donate a toy?
Yes. On the main page there is a button that says,
"Pre-Show Drop Off Locations" where you can find a location near you.
Why partner up with CHUM/CP24 as opposed to another Christmas charity?
For years I have been doing charity shows of one kind or another for different causes, and truth be told I have enjoyed each and every one of them. However I always wanted to do something that was strictly for the kids who had so little at Christmas. So I originally teamed up with Toy Mountain and The Salvation Army who would have the ability and resources to distribute the toys we raise.
I personally find that there's nothing harder than asking someone for a donation of money, especially around Christmas time when the season drains both our energy as well as our bank accounts. So I figured why not ask people to donate a toy, spend a few hours out of the entire year with me and my friends, and to share in the Christmas spirit and in the process, help make some kids enjoy a happy Christmas. In the meantime they can be entertained and enjoy the feeling of being part of something special. We are currently working with the CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish as our partnership with them allows us to help even more children than ever before.
How can I get involved with the organizing side of "Uncle Neil & Friends Annual Toy Drive Show"?
If you would like to donate your time, your talent, a toy, or help out in some other capacity, let me know by emailing me. The more people involved, the more Christmas dreams we can make come true. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. You can also keep an eye on our web site for details. Most importantly though, we are in need of people to spread the word about the show. As I said above, the math is simple, the More people that show up, the more toys the kids will receive.
Click Here To Email Us