Fredericton Strong benefit concert aims to bring community together
On Saturday night in Fredericton, a benefit concert will aim to pay tribute to first responders and bring the community closer together through the power of music.
The ‘Fredericton Strong’ concert will honour those who lost their lives in the Fredericton shooting on August 10th.
On Saturday, last minute preparations were in full swing to make sure the show is an unforgettable event. Organizers of the show say putting together the benefit concert has been a roller coaster of emotions.
“Emotional, overwhelming, it’s come together so quickly that we haven’t had a lot of time to think about it. But when we have had those difficult conversation with the families, it’s been emotional,” explains concert organizer Matt Cleveland.
The concert was put together by Bell Media and Newcap Radio to show support for Fredericton, which was shaken after an August shooting left four people dead, including two police officers.
Const. Robb Costello, 45, and Const. Sara Burns, 43, of the Fredericton police were among the dead. Civilians Donald Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie Lee Wright, 32, were the other victims.
Matthew Vincent Raymond was charged with four counts of first degree murder.
In a recent interview with CTV Atlantic, Steven Burns, the widower of Constable Sara Burns, said the support he’s received since her death has been overwhelming.
“People from all over the world have reached out to me, and it just makes you know how important she was, and it gives you that comfort,” said Steven Burns.
Over 3000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s sold-out concert.
Some of the biggest names in Canadian music will hit the stage, including David Myles, Neon Dreams, The Trews and Classified. The musicians say they hope the show brings a sense of healing to those watching, and listening.
“I think music is one of those rare things that, if you go to a baseball game you’re for one team or the other, but music, everybody is there for the same reason,” says musician Matt Anderson.
The proceeds of the Fredericton Strong Benefit Concert will go to the Canadian Red Cross, the Chalmers Foundation, and the Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick.
“The whole essence of this show is to celebrate the strength of our community. And we feel that music heals. It can’t fix everything, but it can serve as an escape,” says Cleveland.
“Music for the most part is pretty selfish. We get to play and have fun for ourselves, but tonight, it’s not about us at all, it’s about the people in the room,” adds Anderson.
The concert is being held at the Aitken Centre, the same location as the regimental funeral that was held for the fallen officers. The facility is being provided free-of-charge.
“For us we’re just proud to be, as it was with the funeral, we’re just proud to be part of it,” says Dave Saad. “To give our building up for an opportunity for this to happen,”
The concert is expected to last five hours, and see 11 different artists performing their own individual sets.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.