Hope Air Day concert being staged in Timmins,
Cory Marks performing

A love of flying and wanting to help set Cory Marks on a path to team up with Hope Air.

The country singer and pilot will be in Timmins for Hope Air Day on June 7 with 20 Hope Air volunteer pilots to perform a concert that will be live-streamed across the country.

“It’s a bit of an introduction to help bring awareness to what’s going on,” said Marks. “They provide the flights, accommodations, transportation, meals, and it’s good information for these patients we have in Northern Ontario that need this medical care but just can’t afford it.”

Hope Air is a service that provides medical transportation to those who need to travel to receive life-saving, non-urgent medical care.

The service’s necessity was brought home to Marks when a family friend’s child needed care at a children’s hospital in Toronto. The need to travel for surgeries and appointments showed how vital that help can be.

“I knew that they were getting transported through some company of some sort at the time, through family, but then when I found out it was Hope Air, this hit a little closer to home, this is people I actually know who are being helped,” he said. “I know it’s a huge help and factor to make sure he’s taken care of.”

He said those connections made the impact of Hope Air’s work far more apparent.

“It kind of enlightens you on this is a real issue, this is real people dealing with real problems,” he said.

Marks, who grew up in North Bay, said that his work with Hope Air was a chance to combine two of his greatest loves: music and flying.

“I’m still like a kid when it comes to these things,” he said. “Being able to help out through my music, of course, was kind of a no-brainer for me when they reached out about it. It’s just an absolute pleasure to be part of it.”

This is the first Hope Air Day celebration.

He said the chance to help people while doing something he has enjoyed since his childhood was an easy decision.

Marks got his pilot’s license in 2018, but it’s been of interest to him since his childhood.

“North Bay always had the international air show that was part of the heritage festival,” he said. “During the day, it was the air show, and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., you had some of the biggest bands and acts in the world playing all weekend, so I see this as a smaller scale but still getting back to aviation and music bringing people together.”

This event is the start of a busy summer for Marks, who will be touring in western Canada and the US, but being part of this event in Northern Ontario was an important moment to work into his schedule.

“It’s just really cool to be a part of this event and helping people in their day-to-day life,” he said. “And with this beautiful weather so there’s going to be a lot of flying on my part this summer too.”

Fans of his music can look forward to something new in the near future, too.

“A project I’ve been working on for the last three years looks like it’s going to see the light of day,” he said.

He said he hopes people will see the work and want to help or get involved. Donations are accepted through hopeair.ca/ontario.

More information on the livestream will be available closer to the event.

“It’s a great cause, and this is a good way to spread the awareness,” he said.

We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of many Indigenous peoples. We are grateful for the privilege of being on lands that these peoples have nurtured since time immemorial.