This year’s Music 4 Life Fall concert is positioned to be I Will Survive’s best event yet. Held at the iconic Palace Theatre on Stephen Ave, the line-up showcases the diversity of talent in Calgary’s strong and growing music scene. On Saturday, October 21, local funk heroes The Mocking Shadows will co-headline with electronic/dance mainstay DJ Kav. Both of these acts will bring passionate, positive energy into one big party, pumped up even more by opening acts Lunar Wilde and Drew Jones.
The line-up represents what Music 4 Life events do best – bring people from all walks of life together in a positive and supportive environment with a purpose: reducing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness. This is the mission of the non-profit I Will Survive, who created Music 4 Life concerts. I first met the group’s founders, Steven Leong and Michael Campese, in 2014 at a show I was playing with my band Run Deer Run. They were so kind, genuine and passionate about their organization’s mission, and when they asked my band mate Adam and I to play one of their upcoming concert events, we were 100% in. Supporting organizations that were championing mental health was important to us. In fact, we had recently been discussing how we could support a local cause through our music, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
We enjoyed ourselves more than we could have imagined by taking part in this show. Steve and Michael put together a fantastic bill of bands, compelling speakers, an art auction and they promoted the event with their signature enthusiasm and passion. They even had us on their podcast to talk about our band and our up-and-coming album release; we felt so special and important. When the opportunity came up to play at another show we jumped at the chance, and were even more excited when we were asked to be on the organizing committee for their biggest event of the year, the 2016 Music 4 Life Fall concert.
When you’re an up-and-coming band, there can be a pressure to present an aspirational image, to show that you’re in control and that you’ve got it all together. I think a lot of us feel this same pressure in our daily lives. It doesn’t always seem like there’s room to discuss our struggles or doubts, let alone issues with our mental well-being. I Will Survive not only gives artists an opportunity to support mental health and suicide prevention, but they provide an important platform for the conversation to happen. And it feels incredible to give back by doing what we love, putting our art towards an important cause that’s bigger than ourselves. The cherry on top is knowing that the funds we’re helping raise at Music 4 Life events get donated to important organizations like CMHA-Calgary.
So come join us on Saturday, October 21. Celebrate and rock out with the artists that are helping lead the conversation around suicide and mental illness, bid on some of the sweet silent auction items and keep the dance floor moving. And most importantly, know that you’re never alone.