By Tim Saunders on
RyanDan is a Canadian singing duo currently taking the world by storm. Their tight sibling harmonies and operatic pop have gained them millions of fans, and their self-titled album reached number 7 in the UK charts in 2007 and is set to be released in the US this month.
Look To The Stars recently caught up with the duo, which consists of identical twins Ryan and Dan Kowarsky, and asked them about their thoughts on making the world a better place.
Hi guys. You dedicated one of your songs, “Tears of an Angel”, to your niece, Tal Doron. Tell us a little about the Tal Doron Memorial Fund, why it is important to you, and how you are supporting it.
When we were recording our album in London, we were shocked to get a call from our family in Toronto letting us know that our 3 and a 1/2 year old niece, Tal, had a malignant brain tumor. We flew home right away to be with her. She went through a very difficult year of treatments, but unfortunately the tumor was very aggressive, and she passed away last August. We were very close to her. Through this experience, we learned that brain tumors are the second most common cancer in children, and the main cause of cancerous death in children… yet there is still so much that isn’t known about how to prevent or treat them.
The Tal Doron Memorial Fund was set up to help fund research projects at SickKids Hospital, which will help in the understanding and treatment of brain tumors in children. SickKids is one of the leading centers for children’s health care in the world. The fund will also support b.r.a.i.n.child, a volunteer organization dedicated to raising awareness about childhood brain tumors, providing funding for research, and supporting families.
How can people get in touch with the Tal Doron Memorial Fund and make donations?
You can make donations directly through our website, www.ryandan.com. There are also links to more information about this cause.
So far, our fans have been extremely supportive of our cause and we are amazed at how people are willing to help… not only by donating, but volunteering their time, etc.
You recently performed at the One Night Live benefit concert in support of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center's Women and Babies Program, along with Sarah McLachlan and Josh Groban. Tell us a little about the night and what drew you to it.
With all of the difficulties we have gone through with our little niece Tal, we try to do anything we can for children in the world. This was a perfect opportunity for us to help raise money for a great cause.
It was incredible to share the stage with Bryan Adams and the rest of the performers. Bryan is someone we grew up listening to, and to actually sing with him on stage was a dream for us.
Are there any other charities or causes you support that you think need help?
Of course – there are many, many important causes that need attention in the world today. Right now, we are focusing our efforts on paediatric brain tumor research. We are all touched by the particular things we experience in life. As time goes on and our career grows and takes us in different directions, we hope to be able to learn more about other needs, and to raise awareness and funds for other charitable causes.
To what extent does the music you perform reflect your desire to make the world a better place?
Being able to express ourselves through our music is something that we don’t take for granted. We are so blessed to be able to touch so many people all around the world. We get tons of fan mail from people telling us how are music has taken them through a very difficult time in their lives. Hearing that makes it all worth while.
Where do you find your inspiration to help others?
Our inspiration comes from some of our favourite artists – from Mario Lanza through to Boyz II Men. We like to write about things that we go through in our lives, and also things we see our friends and/or family go through.
Why do you think it is important for people to give and help others?
The famous writer Henry James put it perfectly: Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.
Kindness is the only thing that keeps this world going. Without it there’s no point.
What would you say to someone who wants to help a cause but doesn’t know where to start?
Start by getting as much information as you can about what is already being done to help this cause. This should give you some direction about what is needed. The internet is a great tool… both for gathering this type of information and for reaching a lot of people.
Many of our readers are non-profit organizations that wish to attract high profile supporters. How would a charity gain your attention?
We try to support as many charities as we can. Obviously there are so many out there, but I think it’s important for people in the public eye to use their position to bring awareness to so many things going on in the world.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing the world today, environmental or social? How can one person make a difference and help solve that problem?
We have a responsibility to learn…each person should take it upon him or herself learn more about the problems in the world… As long as you remain ignorant, you will not see the need to help make changes.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, guys. All the best with the album release in the US.
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars