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Introductory comments on 24 April 2005 Toronto | WTBD 2005
The introduction to the premiere of "Chopin and The Nightingale" was made by Karen Stintz, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence and Chair of the TB Subcommittee of the Toronto Board of Health.

The Glass Room of the Royal Ontario Museum was packed beyond capacity with a seated and standing audience of public and invited guests.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon and welcome to the Canadian premiere of "Chopin and The Nightingale".  My name is Karen Stintz, and I am the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence and Chair of the TB Subcommittee of the Toronto Board of Health.  We are very pleased that this musical drama is being staged to signal the importance of the global fight against tuberculosis and the contribution that Canada is making to this challenge.

The premiere is a milestone among several initiatives taken in the context of World TB Day.  Toronto Public Health together with The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Royal Ontario Museum have over many months played a key role in getting this event up and running.

Tuberculosis has re-emerged as a global and dangerous epidemic that continues to kill two million people each year in both low- and high-income countries - despite the fact that TB is completely curable.  Toronto has approximately 400 cases of TB yearly, representing almost one quarter of all cases reported in Canada.  Toronto Public Health continues to work closely with health care providers to ensure early detection and appropriate treatment of TB.

Before we lift the curtain, please allow me to extend a special welcome to:  Piotr Strutynski of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto;  Melissa Phypers of the Public Health Agency of Canada who is chairperson of Stop TB Canada;  Dr Barbara Kawa, Marg Driscoll, Tara Harris, and Joy Marshall of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care;  and Dr Barbara Yaffe of Toronto Public Health.  We are also grateful for the high-level patronage and the endorsements that this event enjoys.

I would like to extend a special thank-you to Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen, the founders and managers of the nonprofit organization Icons of Europe that is based in Brussels.  They are the playwrights and pro bono co-producers of this premiere of "Chopin and The Nightingale".  They were not able to be here today, but they took the initiative to organize today's event, in concept and in detail, as a multi-institutional transatlantic joint venture - and to bring it to the attention of key players in the TB world.

So, to conclude in the spirit of transatlantic cooperation on tuberculosis control and great culture, I thank you all for attending this event.  I am convinced that you will connect with the four performers of The Glenn Gould School:   Catherine Affleck, Meghan Fleet, Régulo Martinez and David Visentin.   Singing, playing and narrating, they will now enact the true-life story of "Chopin and The Nightingale".

Thank you!


British High Commissioner to Canada, H.E. Mr David Reddaway CMG MBE


Consulate General of Poland in Toronto

Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw

Embassy of Canada in Brussels

Stop TB Canada


Toronto Public Health


The Glenn Gould School
Royal Ontario Museum
Icons of Europe