05/30/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and the Barenaked Ladies are already onboard for an upcoming June 21 concert to restore Toronto's reputation as a safe travel destination, and now Shania Twain and Neil Young may join them, the Associated Press reports.
The concert, organized in light of Toronto's severely depressed tourism market because of the current SARS outbreak, will offer six hours of music to 70,000 people in both the Air Canada Center and Skydome, says AP. The two venues will be linked by video feed.
"Our goal is to put SARS behind us, showcase Toronto to the world and put tourism in Ontario firmly back on the road to recovery," Brian Coburn, Ontario's minister of tourism and recreation, said in a statement. Tickets for the concert will cost between $15 and $22 each.
On Monday of this week, the World Health Organization reinstated Toronto's status as a place where SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is spreading, but stopped short of restoring the travel advisory for visitors not to go there. That ban had been lifted two weeks ago, when it appeared that no new outbreak of SARS had occurred.
The United States Centers for Disease Control, however, issued a travel alert last week, and slammed the brakes on a proposed TV ad campaign that was to have been launched in upstate New York, hoping to lure visitors back to Toronto, The New York Times reported.
Last weekend, Ontario health authorities announced at least eight new cases of SARS. Two of the patients have died, while others are in critical condition.
So far, Toronto has lost 27 people to SARS, the largest outbreak of the disease outside of Asia.