For the last two months, Vancouver’s music scene has been talking about charity in a big way. Music Heals, a charitable foundation in support of music therapy services across Canada, has been asking bands to battle it out to raise the most money, and win a spot on stage at Vancouver’s largest music festival, SKOOKUM.
The Covers For The Cause campaign is not only powered by CHIMP, but we’re matching the first $5,000 of donations – helping bands, and their fans, see the real impact behind charitable giving.
To join the campaign, bands and solo artists have been setting up Giving Groups on CHIMP, and asking their fans to send in a donation, along with a request for their favourite cover song. Whoever raises the most money for charity by July 13th, plays the festival! As an added bonus, anyone who raises more than $1,000 is able to select exactly which music therapy program their fundraising will be directed to!
CHIMP had the pleasure of talking to a couple of local bands who have entered into the competition. Both Little Crow, and Raincity Blue, have not only raised impressive sums of money, but their passion for the project shows the importance of raising awareness for music therapy programs, and indeed, the healing powers of music.
“Music is something that has gotten us through our toughest times. Music therapy is such a valuable tool that reaches far beyond the borders of any single issue or trauma,” Emily ruminates as we question her about why Little Crow are taking part in this campaign. “Having the opportunity to raise money for something so impactful while being able to interact and hear some pretty amazing stories from fans and donors is an unbelievable experience.”
Raincity Blue are no strangers to charitable competitions, having helped to raise over $7,000 for Music Heals earlier this year. They passionately describe their Covers for The Cause involvement as a, “no brainer,” one that has seen this four piece funk/RnB group to use the music industry as a tool for change. They explain, “Giving to charity for us is a way to become part of something bigger. It helps you feel connected.”
The musicians involved are raising money to help support music therapy services, however, music can be beneficial for anyone. It can be used therapeutically for people who have physical, emotional, social, or cognitive deficits, however, those who are healthy might often use music to relax, reduce stress, improve mood, or to accompany exercise.
The members of Raincity Blue describe their relationship with music as highly therapeutic. Clare reveals, “Writing was just a way for me to understand what has happening in my life, and how I was feeling.” For Clare, the personal catharsis she got from music was crucial in helping her to navigate emotions. She continues, “Once you understand what your brain and body are trying to tell you, it has a lot less power over you, in my experience.”
Both Emily and Kas in Little Crow, reveal that, “Music quite literally saved our lives.” Their thoughts around the liberation that comes from creating music is deeply personal, and opens up a larger discussion surrounding the importance of creating communities and sharing personal experiences with their fans. They open up, “Being vulnerable with our music forces conversation about mental health and that is something we try to talk about at every show. Our hope is to always connect with other people, because it’s so easy to feel alone and lost in those thoughts.”
Kas goes on to bravely share his personal life-changing story with us, and the large part music played in his own journey to recovery. He explains, “By the time I was 18, I had accumulated quite a lot of head trauma. Most self inflicted as a copy mechanism to the deep depression that I was lost in, others from sports and concerts.” He continues, “I was part of GF Strong’s acquired brain injury outpatient program for 6 months. I was so fortunate to have a whole team of incredible people helping me focus and retrain my brain to process information.”
All money raised through Little Crow will be donated to GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, with the band championing music therapy as something that reaches far beyond the borders of any single issue or trauma. Kas concludes: “I still struggle with the frustrations of my limitations, but GF Strong gave me the tools to move forward and succeed. It was after my head trauma that I found music to be the only way I could truly express myself and relieve my inner tensions.”
As an end to our interviews, both bands shared their thoughts and advice on the importance of donating to charity:
“Educate yourself and be passionate about the charity and causes you are getting involved with.” Little Crow
“You don’t have to wait until your life is plentiful to start giving, even small donations or donations of your time help a lot.” Raincity Blue
CHIMP would like to thank both bands for sharing their charitable journeys with us. If you would like to donate to either band and help support The Cover for the Cause campaign, you can do so via our dedicated page.
Does music play an important role in your life? Tweet us at @wearechimp #CoversForTheCause