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

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: New homes for old dogs

Langley event has high number of senior dogs up for adoption

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read