Battle of the Benefits


msohBy Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell

What a world we live in when the conflict of the day is that there are too many charity events on the same night. It’s especially interesting that both of these shows are put on by the punk community. Come September 16th, some folks are going to be deciding between giving their money to Cancer care Manitoba or the Mood Disorders Association. “I think it’s awesome, we’re all raising money for great causes and that’s all that really matters.” says Tracy Tardiff, organizer of Rock Out For Mental Illness. Fret not if you don’t want to pick one or the other, the shows are in different venues but they’re on the same street so you can in fact attend both. This takes away some of the split crowd concern, considering the punk community is relatively small. “Just by chance [we’re at] the only two venues in the city that are within a 30 second walk of each other,” says Nick Camble, frontman of Suburban Hypocrites and organizer of the Cancer care benefit show, Mosh For a Cure. “I’m sure a lot of people will bounce between the venues throughout the night.”

Let’s get down to the reasons. Mosh For a Cure was  the request of a member of the punk community. “Her mom is actually battling cancer right now. So it’s kind of a close to home issue for her, and she’s a good friend of ours so we’re always willing to help out.” Tardiff’s experience that sparked the idea was also close to home. “A year ago my aunt, Jill Tardiff, took her own life. I wanted to start putting on these shows to raise money for mental health organizations and to bring mental illness into a new light. So many people I talk to hear the same thing, ‘oh you’re depressed, well just be positive.’ By bringing together a group of bands and a group of people with the same ideals we can help those who struggle daily with mental illness, that they’re not alone, that they can reach for help and someone will be there for them,” says Tardiff.

Even if you’re an ass and don’t want to drag yourself out for the good of humanity, how about for the music? Both shows have stacked lineups,  “We have Yer Mum opening, and obviously Yer Mum are pretty good friends with us, we pretty much play every second show with them if not more,” says Camble. “Chernobyl Wolves we met a couple months ago, they’re awesome. They’re probably my favourite local punk band right now. We were just in it by default because I booked it and I’m kind of selfish like that,” he laughs. “Sawchuk we played with in July. I’d never actually heard them before and they totally blew me away and they wanted to do more shows with us so I threw them on that.”

Down the street is a bit of a different lineup. “We’ve got a really good lineup with Spacebutt, Last Horizon, Community Riffs, The Strange Things, and Shit Tax coming all the way from Montreal just to play this benefit show. The bands playing are a wide range really, you’ve got indie to thrash. There’s something for everyone really, it’s a diverse lineup and I’m really excited for it. I think they’ll all blend really well despite how different they all are,” says Tardiff.

Looks like punks do good deeds too. “I think people misjudge punks to be heartless a lot of the time from the ridiculous stereotypes portrayed as them,” says Tardiff. “But last year’s show and this one I had people volunteering to play because they genuinely cared.” I think the bottom line here is that a community is a community, and the mentality is generally positive. “I book a lot of shows, I’m keen on doing benefits once in awhile. Especially with the punk community, it’s small, it’s good to keep a good reputation up in the community,” says Camble.

This isn’t all a one time deal either. “Last December we did, actually me and Jenny from Yer Mum put the whole thing on, we called it ‘Fuck Hunger’ and it was a food drive at Ozzy’s that turned out really good. I’m actually hoping to do that again this year.”

You can catch Mosh For a Cure at The Windsor and/or Rock Out For Mental Illness at The Garrick Hotel on September 16th. Both venues are on Garry Street.