Cory Woodward

Cory Woodward

Tour about more than just music

NANAIMO – The Lion The Bear The Fox raises money for music therapy

This October, The Lion The Bear The Fox is hitting the road in support of much more than its debut EP.

The Vancouver- and Ladysmith-based folk/rock trio has partnered up with Music Heals to raise money to bring the Bandwagon, a mobile recording studio used by music therapists, to Vancouver Island, and each show on their We’d Be Good Men EP Release Tour from Oct. 8-25 will benefit that campaign.

Bandwagon is the world’s first mobile recording studio designed specifically for use by music therapists, and it contains microphones, instruments, a computer, recording software and more to aid therapists to work with patients. Currently, there is one stationary Bandwagon at B.C. Children’s Hospital and one that travels around Greater Vancouver for six-week residencies. The Lion The Bear The Fox will donate 25 per cent of the proceeds from each of their shows on their October tour toward bringing the Bandwagon to care centres and hospitals on Vancouver Island.

“The guys in the band have intimate first-hand experiences with the power of music therapy, and there are no better advocates for the potential difference that this project can make,” said Chris Brandt, executive director of Music Heals. “We’re excited to bring Bandwagon to the Island for the first time.”

Christopher Arruda and Cory Woodward of Vancouver and Ryan McMahon of Ladysmith hope to raise $10,000 to dedicate Bandwagon to Vancouver Island music therapy programs for six months. Music Heals will round up any funding to the nearest multiple of $2,500.

The Bandwagon project is inspired by the life and strength of Megan McNeil from North Delta, who was just 20 years old when she died after battling adrenal cancer since the age of 16. McNeil wrote a song called The Will to Survive as a tribute to other children fighting cancer, some of whom she met in chemo wards and hospital hallways during treatment. In 2010, McMahon helped McNeil arrange and record her song, and he’s been sharing her story and message ever since. Woodward also had a chance to get to know McNeil and has been a big supporter of her fight to end childhood cancer.

“Megan’s Will to Survive song, video and entire campaign wouldn’t have seen the light if not for music therapy,” McMahon said. “So there’s the first-hand relation for me. I just know how music affects me on a day-to-day basis. I can only imagine what having music at one’s fingertips would mean to someone suffering from an illness of some kind.  Music heals the soul … it’s been proven.”

The Lion The Bear The Fox is currently hard at work recording its debut EP, We’d Be Good Men, which will be released Oct. 1.

It took Arruda, Woodward and McMahon more than 30 years to find each other but only one month to realize they were meant to join their voices as one.

Over wine, campfires and nights in cheap hotel rooms and woodland cabins, an unshakeable bond began to form.

The 2013 Peak Performance Project Top 20 finalists will celebrate the release of their album during their first western Canadian tour as a band, playing in Nanaimo Sept. 28 as the opening band for Elliot Brood at the Queen’s. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets $13/advance at Lucid, Harbour City Music, the Dog’s Ear and the Queen’s; $17/door.

In addition to The Lion The Bear The Fox’s tour, any venue or artist can add themselves to the Music Heals Bandwagon.

They encourage anyone to donate a portion of proceeds from an event or evening of music to help bring the mobile recording cart to music therapists on Vancouver Island.

For more information, please contact Cathleen McMahon at or 250-668-3338.