Drake performs during the “Aubrey & The Three Amigos Tour” in Toronto, Tuesday August 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Drake apologizes to fans for TIFF no-show, but offers little explanation

Drake offered his apologizes to moviegoers at Toronto International Film Festival, but gave little explanation as to why he bailed on his opening night event in the first place.

Drake offered his apologies to moviegoers at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, but gave little explanation as to why he bailed on his opening night event in the first place.

In a video message that substituted for his original plans to speak in person Thursday night, Drake immediately acknowledged he left some fans high and dry after they paid more than $100 for tickets to the Canadian premiere of “Monsters and Men.”

“I wish I could be there to share this moment,” he said in a brief video introduction for the film.

“Unfortunately I’m on tour right now.”

That was the extent of his reasoning for why he pulled out of the event with only hours notice.

TIFF organizers announced the Toronto-based rapper as a guest a mere two weeks ago, which meant his tour schedule had already been in place for months.

A representative for Drake declined to offer further explanation.

Related: Netflix hopes to spark buzz at TIFF with big stars, major awards hype

Related: TIFF stresses ‘zero tolerance’ policy, plans women’s rally in #MeToo era

The rapper also thanked “Monsters and Men” director Reinaldo Marcus Green, as well as a company that created merchandise for the film.

“I’m just very excited and honoured to be part of something that continues a conversation in this day in age,” he said of the film, which follows the aftermath of a police shooting that kills a black man in Brooklyn.

The storyline tracks various people affected by the shooting, including someone who captured the incident on his phone, a teenager with a promising baseball career who’s grappling with the political fallout and a police officer who weighs his values and his loyalty to the force.

“I think it’s an extremely, extremely important moment and an important movie, and I hope you guys love it as much as I do,” Drake said of the film.

The rapper’s withdrawal from TIFF’s opening night shifted attention away from the film’s timely political themes and towards his unexpected absence.

It’s the second time in the past month Drake has cancelled on Toronto.

In August, he pulled out of his first tour date in the city “due to scheduling commitments” and has yet to announce a new date for ticket holders.

Drake’s website listed Thursday as a night off for the rapper, after a show in Montreal on Wednesday and ahead of a concert in Boston on Friday.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Come see Stettler’s Diary of Anne Frank and learn important “lessons from the past”

The Diary of Anne Frank from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Performing Arts Centre

Stettler’s Scotties tournament set a new standard

Chair of curling tournament committee says rural Alberta can host biggest events

Come out to a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day dance in Botha

Don’t miss the big green bash in Botha Feb. 24

Tickets still available for Stettler County Community Service Awards

42nd annual community service awards at Linda Hall Feb. 21

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Boxers claim two silver medals for Alberta in wild night

Cole Brander of Edmonton fought for the gold medal against Avery Martin-Duval of Quebec

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Most Read