Two Capilano students use the arts to benefit Haitians


There is an unstated tradition among artists to use their talents to help those less fortunate. In the wake of the recent earthquake tragedy in Haiti, hundreds of musicians and performers have come together to raise money and awareness for the cause worldwide.

Following in those footsteps are two of Capilano’s own activists, Lauren Preston and Reuben Avery, who are hosting events of their own to raise funds for Haiti’s Earthquake victims.

Preston, a student of the Arts and Entertainment Management Diploma program at Cap, was the volunteer coordinator for Heart for Haiti, a multi-band gig featuring local reggae-rockers Ready Steady Go, at the Anza Club this past Sunday, January 31, which raised $700 in the first two hours. She explains her motivation, saying, “I wanted to do more for the community. I don’t have the money to donate $100, but I have the time and the commitment to go out and volunteer ... I donated 1000 points off of my Save-On card just to give them a couple bucks. It was pretty fun, you feel good after you donate.”

Fourth-year Jazz student Avery took matters into his own hands and began planning a fundraiser, featuring his funk-soul band The Phonix, which is made up of current and former Capilano musicians.  He contemplates the pattern among artists to take part in charity benefits, stating “I’ve always enjoyed charitable things like that ... there’s the good Samaritan side of things, and this show will also give us the opportunity to come together with some other groups and kind of let us see what kind of show we can put together. They’ve kindly donated [the hall], and of course none of the bands are concerned about getting money out of this. We’re all donating the time.”

The Phonix usually charge a cover of $10 for their shows, though Humanity for Haiti tickets are $15, which Avery adds, “If people are still feeling really generous they can still give more ... in terms of the worth of the bands, I guess that’s what people are prepared to pay. We aren’t playing GM Place for $180 a ticket. I think they’ll be prepared to shell out that kind of money, especially given the circumstance.”

The earth quake in Haiti caused an estimated 200,000 deaths among men, women and children. Though the magnitude of the disaster is shown to us mostly through TV, Avery affirms “it’s going to take years to rebuild that structure – who knows how many generations it will take to rebuild that society.”

The Phonix play at the Wise Hall on February 17 at 7:30 pm, where all ticket proceeds will go to the Red Cross, as well as all merchandise profits from accompanying band The Boom Booms.

// Maegan Bibby,

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