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SoundON Charitable Initiative Helps Members of BC’s
Live Music Sector Dealing with Fallout of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Donations help support BC’s music community through
emergency relief services and health and wellness programs
For Immediate Release
September 18, 2020

Vancouver, BC – As organizations and not-for-profits across Canada continue to navigate the economic challenges presented by COVID-19, a new charitable initiative has been formed to provide support for members of BC’s ailing music sector.

In partnership with Music Heals, the Unison Benevolent Fund, and Charitable Impact, SoundON is providing passionate advocates with an opportunity to invest in the power of music during times of crisis.

“Music and art have always provided a sense of comfort and escape during times of uncertainty and right now the music sector in our province is facing dire economic and emotional circumstances,” says Rob Calder, SoundON. “Financial aid for artists performances is paramount, but there is also a critical need for mental health, counselling and emergency relief resources for the musicians and workers that have been most impacted.”

British Columbia’s diverse collective of musicians, venue owners and industry professionals have been among the hardest hit as a result of the necessary pandemic restrictions. By making a donation to SoundON, you are supporting the recovery of BC’s music sector. All funds raised will go directly back into the music community with a percentage used to produce more shows and provide direct funding to presenters, artists, crew, production and venues, while the other portion will help support two prominent music charity initiatives in BC.

“Since the early days of the pandemic, our office has recorded a 5,500 per cent increase in requests for financial assistance, and that number only continues to grow,” says Shawn Hook, Unison Benevolent Fund Board of Directors. “There has truly never been a more important time to give back and I know firsthand just how much that generosity and support, in any capacity, means to BC’s music community.”

Unison Benevolent Fund provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. They offer assistance programs, which are created and administered for the music community, by the ones who understand their hardships the best. According to a national survey, a staggering 85% of musicians agreed that without live performances they would have difficulty paying the bills. This has created an immense amount of stress on those in the industry, which is why their work is more important now than ever.

“We have assessed the financial needs to sustain the music therapy community and without our events the funding need exceeds our capacity by 544%. This means that the hallways of children’s hospitals, end of life care facilities and long term care homes will no longer be filled with the sound of music. While the impacts of Covid 19 may have slowed us down a little, it has created space for us to adapt to the new normal and make a pivot with SoundOn live stream shows. Each presentation provides an opportunity to donate, and truthfully nothing is too small. We are seeing participants donate the amount of money they would typically spend buying beers at the show if they were there in person. We just really want to make sure that vulnerable Canadians do not fall through the cracks.”

Music Heals raises awareness and funds to increase access to music therapy for vulnerable Canadians. They offer access to music therapy for patients in children’s hospitals, seniors centres, palliative care, AIDS & HIV programs, at-risk youth, rehabilitation, and bereavement support. Due to the isolation that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, the power of music therapy is key in lifting the most vulnerable populations spirits in such a challenging time.

Music Heals, The Peak, JRFM and SoundON present:

September 20th @ 7PM
102.7 The Peak presents Live at Blue Light Sessions with live performances from Dear Rouge, The Zolas, Hotel Mira and Post-Modern Connection. Stream on Facebook Live, SoundOn.ca or at ThePeak.fm

Sunday September 27th at 7PM
JR Country presents Live at Blue Light Sessions with performances by Aaron Pritchett, Jojo Mason, Emily Reid and Kristin Carter. Stream on Facebook Live, SoundOn.ca or at JRCountry.ca

SoundON is delivered with initial funding from Creative BC, the Province of British Columbia, and Music BC. With continued support from public and private partnerships, and individual donations from music lovers across British Columbia, together, we can help keep the Sound ON.

To contribute, visit: SoundON.ca/donate

For more information on the project and to livestream shows, please visit: SoundON.ca

Stay up to date with our announcements:

Facebook – @soundonbc
Instagram – @soundonbc
Twitter – @soundonbc

SoundON
SoundON is a unique platform to celebrate BC musicians and raise funds for BC’s music community. SoundON provides BC presenters and artists with direct support to get back to doing what they do best: creating unforgettable live music experiences. But it’s more than a relief campaign, it’s a whole new way to discover BC music through curated, online experiences. Streaming live music performances, concerts, DJ sets and workshops, all on one free website, SoundON will have something for everyone to enjoy. All funds raised will support BC artists, presenters, venues, crew, more SoundON shows, and charitable causes across BC. With your support, we can help bring the music back to BC!

SoundON is a cross-sector collaboration between public, private, and community partners, produced and run by a volunteer collective from BC’s music sector.

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