A benefit concert for a local youth centre will help the organization keep its doors open and provide beneficial programs for the people it serves.
The Kanata Haven Youth Centre will host a night of live entertainment on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Boston Pizza in the Kanata Centrum to raise funds for its music program, which serves as a creative outlet for the teens, said Diane McNulty, program director at the Haven.
“We definitely want to keep that going,” she said, adding the partnership with the pizza parlour gives local artists the opportunity to perform.
Glen Cairn’s Ashley Crnic is on the bill for the Dec. 5 show, as are members from Kanata-based band Amos the Transparent.
“It’s very important for us to showcase local talent,” said McNulty. “It’s going to be a fun evening and a great way to kick off the holidays.”
There will be a silent auction table, a raffle for an Ottawa Senators jersey, as well as the entertainment.
CHANGE MY WORLD
The event will showcase Crnic’s new song, written in partnership with the youth at the Haven.
Titled Change My World, the song was created as part of the centre’s Not Alone! youth mental health and suicide prevention project. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadian youth, surpassed only by accidental death.
The Not Alone project was developed to create awareness and educate youth about mental health and suicide, said McNulty. As part of the project, the youth were asked to create a public service announcement.
“After many discussions, the youth felt that a music video would be more relevant and have a greater impact,” she said.
Crnic worked with the teens to develop the lyrics and music.
“I was really touched and moved by this,” Crnic said.
The song is based on issues of bullying, feeling alone and suicide: “Things that needed to be mentioned in the song to get the message across,” said Crnic.
“There’s no fluff to the words. We’re not holding anything back on anything.”
McNulty said this is a glimpse into the lives of today’s teenagers.
“Kids don’t often show the paint to adults,” she said, adding the song is a way to broach difficult topics.
The music video is in the middle stages of production.
“The kids put together the scenarios for the video,” said McNulty, adding Reach Up Ottawa provided some of the funding for the Change My World video through a golf tournament held in September.
The song is available to download on Crnic’s website, ashleycrnic.com, with all proceeds going towards the Not Alone project.
The benefit concert is raising money for the Haven’s music program, which includes free guitar lessons. McNulty said $1,000 would help to run two or three art workshops for the youth.
“That’s the best way children (and teens) express themselves – through art,” said Crnic, adding she went through some rough times herself. Writing lyrics was one of her outlets.
“Helping them has helped me,” she said. “You learn so much from the kids.”
The Haven will also receive a portion of food and drink proceeds from the restaurant on Dec. 5 between 6:30 and 10 p.m. Johnny Lalonde, manager of Boston Pizza, came up with the idea of a benefit concert to support the youth centre, said McNulty.
Tickets for the event are $5 and can be purchased at the door, ahead of time at Boston Pizza, or through a member of the Haven. For more information, contact McNulty at firstname.lastname@example.org.