Curling for a Cause: Second Annual Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Curling Bonspiel Doubles Donation to Unison Benevolent Fund

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The Manitoba music community rocked the house for charity this month. Over 140 curlers joined event organizers Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music at the 2012 Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Curling Bonspiel at the Granite Curling Club on February 12. The second annual event, which sold out quickly, united the province's vibrant music community to raise funds and awareness for the Unison Benevolent Fund.
Building on the success of the inaugural event, which took place January 2011 and welcomed 100 curlers, this year’s bonspiel doubled last year’s donation, raising $4,000 for the Unison Benevolent Fund and landing media and national industry attention in the process.
The Unison Benevolent Fund is an assistance and referral program – created and administered by the music industry, for the music industry. A registered charity established in 2010, the Unison Benevolent Fund is designed to provide discreet relief to music industry personnel in times of personal hardship and crisis. Find out more about the Unison Benevolent Fund at
Leading up to the bonspiel, Citytv Winnipeg’s Breakfast Television produced five fun curling tip videos featuring some of Manitoba’s best-known musician curlers, including internationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and Weakerthans front man John K. Samson, Jeremy Hiebert of world-travelling metal act Comeback Kid, DJ extraordinaire Mama Cutsworth, and acoustic pop troubadour JP Hoe, as well as Manitoba Music's Executive Director Sara Stasiuk and Manitoba Film & Music’s CEO & Film Commissioner Carole Vivier. Viewed online via over 3,600 times in the week leading up to the event, the videos also aired on Breakfast Television and streamed on the Citytv website.
The festivities kicked off on February 11 at The Lo Pub & Bistro with a special concert that not only warmed up curlers and music fans alike but raised more dollars for Unison. The night featured performances by Manitoba indie pop/rock outfits Haunter, A Waste Odyssey, and Modern Romantics, as well as a late night set by DJ Hunnicutt. The Lo Pub donated all of the ticket revenue to the Unison Fund.
The bonspiel itself drew some familiar names from the music world, including The Weakerthans' John K. Samson and Stephen Carroll, Paquin Entertainment's Todd Jordan and Stu Anderson, Nathan's Keri and Devin Latimer, Ridley Bent, Chic Gamine's Andrina Turenne, country crooner Ridley Bent, Oh My Darling’s Vanessa Kuzina, and personalities from Citytv and CBC Radio Manitoba, among many others.
"We are absolutely thrilled with the results from this year’s Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Curling Bonspiel," said Stasiuk, who also sits on the Unison Fund's board of directors. "It’s a fantastic feeling to be able to do our part to get the word out and raise money to help the Unison Benevolent Fund reach its goals to start providing this critical assistance to our artists and industry workers. We hope to see more organizations across the country pitching in to support this great cause. Every dollar counts."
"It's amazing to see the industry come together like this. The bonspiel just reinforces the sense of community that makes Manitoba a great place for musicians to live and work," said Vivier.
The Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Curling Bonspiel was made possible by the support of the following sponsors: Pitblado Law, Citytv Winnipeg Breakfast Television, Special T Shirt Company, Half Pints Brewing Co., The Lo Pub & Bistro, Guppy Graphic Design, Paquin Entertainment Group, Long & McQuade, Fairmont Winnipeg, and DigginIT. Thanks also to the many individuals and companies that donated prizes to the silent auction, and to the volunteers who helped out during the event.
While a date and location have yet to be confirmed, the third annual Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Curling Bonspiel will be held in early 2013.

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