[By Kelly McGuire]

A chill of anticipation surely filled the air as 950 fortunate fans awaited the arrival of rock royalty, a band whose most recent visit to Toronto was a whole seven years ago. Amidst the deafening roar of the crowd, echoing against the steadfast walls of the historic Opera House, Metallica took the stage to give the electrified audience the show of a lifetime.

Fresh off the release of a brand-new album, the band announced the Nov. 29 show only one week prior to the event. The opportunity to see Metallica at the intimate venue was enough to send most fans into a frenzy, willing to surrender their credit cards no matter the cost. There was certainly money to be made from the surprise visit, and the band had already decided how to spend it.

Along with the concert announcement, Metallica revealed that all proceeds from ticket sales would go directly to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank.

Just in time for the holiday season, the gesture was sure to provide the charity with a much-needed boost in funds to stock the shelves with items often in short supply. Fans were also encouraged to bring a non-perishable item to be collected upon entry to the venue. The band kicked off the show with an appropriately-titled tune: a cover of Budgie’s “Breadfan.”

Most surprised by this unsolicited publicity and support was the Daily Bread Food Bank. Ahead of the public announcement, the organization was entirely unaware of Metallica’s plan. In the week leading up to the show, confused employees responded to calls from fans desperately offering exorbitant sums of money in exchange for tickets to the show. Despite the unusual approach, the food bank was thrilled to earn support for their financial goal of raising $1.5 million this holiday season.

Metallica’s charitable contribution also helped to spark a public dialogue about the significant reliance upon food banks within our own community. The gesture has undoubtedly increased public awareness of the importance of donating to local food banks. After all, ‘tis the season.

(Photo by Sven Scheuermeier via Unsplash)