Cameron Michael Caton serenades staff and residents in long-term care homes from parking lots and driveways on Friday Jan. 16, 2021. (CTV NEWS)
TORONTO -- Dressed head-to-toe in Elvis’s signature jumpsuit, crooner Cameron Michael Caton serenades staff and residents in long-term care homes, one song at a time.
The 55-year-old Hamilton, Ont. man used to sing inside long-term care homes across southern Ontario, but he moved his performances outdoors in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I love it. It’s the greatest feeling ever to be able to do something and use your gift for a much greater purpose," said Canton.
Caton came up with the idea to after he was forced to cancel an 80th birthday performance for a woman due to the pandemic. Up until then, Caton always played at long-term care residences but it was that moment when he decided to permanently adopt the Elvis persona.
Caton now carries out his shows in parking lots and driveways of residences. Using a microphone, large speakers and a portable power generator, Caton is able to safely put on a show while reacquainting residents with some of their favourite music. Caton has many of Elvis’ popular hits pre-downloaded on a laptop that accompanies his singing.
“From there I went out and just started singing in the streets,” said Caton.
After a local radio host called him “COVID Elvis,” he says the name stuck. His acts have garnered him so much attention that it wasn’t long until he became a local celebrity among residents.
Not only does Caton sing, but he also collects food donations for families who need help putting food on the table. He says he has organized more than 200 food drives in the Hamilton area which he later donates to food banks.
“And in nine months we’ve collected over 32,000 pounds of food,” said Caton.
Caton says there is something about the pandemic that has people wanting to listen to the rock-and-roll icon’s music more than usual. He even went as far as dying his hair black.
“Even my eyebrows — I’m that dedicated,” said Caton.