TORONTO — All four of Canada’s English networks announced Wednesday they will simultaneously broadcast the star-studded Stand Up To Cancer special in September.
Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Portlandia‘s Kyle MacLachlan and Canadian actor Dan Aykroyd were on hand at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District to talk about the initiative.
Ferguson’s husband, lawyer Justin Mikita, had Hodgkins Lymphoma but has been cancer-free since 2000.
“I’m so grateful for the doctors who helped him get healthy,” Ferguson said.
MacLachlan, who lost both parents to cancer, has been involved with Stand Up To Cancer for several years.
“They have a fairly innovative approach to looking for cures in that they put together what are called dream teams of doctors and researchers to work together in collaboration,” he said. “A very proactive approach to trying to rid the world of this disease.”
Global, CBC, City and CTV will join U.S. networks in airing the star-studded fundraising event in Hollywood on Sept. 5.
Extended: A star-studded lineup announces the “Stand Up To Cancer” special at a press conference in Toronto Wednesday
For the first time, the show will include cutaways to a live event featuring stars in Toronto for the city’s annual film festival.
“As broadcasters, we have a responsibility to use the power of television to effect change so we jumped at the opportunity to come together with our colleagues for this incredibly worthy cause,” said Phil Piazza, Global’s vice-president of content acquisitions and Global TV programming.
“This dynamic hour of television is an important step in the fight to beat a disease that has touched so many Canadians.”
Aykroyd, who lost his business manager of 30 years to cancer on Monday, said research is needed to find news ways of treating cancer.
“It took her about six, seven months and all they did was slap the chemo on her,” he said. “She just called it a racket the whole way through. There’s a way to get around that. There’s a way to treat and to cure that’s not just the old alternative.”
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, striking two out of every five people.
Funds raised during the broadcast from Canadian viewers will go to the creation of collaborative research teams, as well as education and awareness programs conducted in Canada.