Nanaimo musicians are coming together to raise money for those in need.
On Dec. 18 musician Michael Patrick presents his annual Christmas benefit show at the Queen’s. This year he’s getting his old band the Brothers of Soul back together for the first time in about a decade and he’s sharing the bill with other local artists including David Gogo, Jona Kristinsson, Dave Pittet and Mark Crissinger to name a few.
“There’s certain bands, they’re there every year and they’re really good bands, and then I try to add new bands as much as I can,” Patrick said. “There’s only a limited amount of time and there’s one band every hour.”
Patrick said he’s been holding his Christmas benefit for around 25 years. In the past the event has benefited the Loaves and Fishes food bank and the Salvation Army, but for the past couple years Patrick has been partnering with the Nanaimo 7-10 Club. He said it’s a charity that deserves more attention.
“I’m trying to bring more awareness to the 7-10 Club and get more donations for it because it’s a really needed service,” Patrick said. “Especially in the condition of what’s happening on our streets right now with so many homeless and it’s cold weather and they need to be fed.”
Gogo’s been a part of the benefit shows “pretty much from the get go” and said that the need is still there. He said he knows people who have benefited from the 7-10 Club and that makes it personal for him.
“It’s just a unique event,” he said of the fundraiser. “I don’t know how else you’re going to see that much talent under one roof in such a short amount of time.”
Gogo said the event brings Nanaimo musicians together and sometimes results in surprises with different performers sitting in with each other’s bands.
“People are always quick to try to get musicians to do benefits and it’s difficult because we could use a couple benefits ourselves. It’s a difficult way to make a living at times,” Gogo said. “But this time of year everyone seems to be around, even some of the musicians that might have moved somewhere else are in town to see family. So it’s a good time for all of us to get together and share our time and talent for a great cause.”
WHAT’S ON … Michael Patrick’s annual Christmas benefit returns to the Queen’s, 34 Victoria Cres., on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Doors at 4 p.m.