Manitoba Music Community Raises Over $4,500 for Unison Benevolent Fund

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Teams at the Granite Curling Club (Credit: J.Senft Photography)

Manitoba’s music community rocked the house for charity this month. Over 140 curlers joined event organizers Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music at the 2014 Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Bonspiel at the Granite Curling Club on February 2. The fourth annual event, which sold out in record time, brought the province's vibrant music community together to raise funds and awareness for the Unison Benevolent Fund.

This year's event raised over $4,500, taking the bonspiel's total donation to over $14,500 for the Unison Fund, landing media and national industry attention in the process. 

“Once again, the Manitoba music community has shown its generous spirit in its support of the Unison Benevolent Fund,” said Manitoba Music's executive director, Sara Stasiuk, who also sits on the Unison Fund's board of directors. “We're proud to be able to do our part to help the Unison Benevolent Fund reach its goal.”

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. 

The generous support of sponsors has been key to raising these funds to help Canada's music industry workers. We would like to thank all our sponsors, particularly this year's bonspiel sponsor, Asham, as well as Breakfast Television WinnipegHalf Prints Brewing Co.SOCAN, The ForksSpecial T Shirt CompanyBreakOut WestFairmont WinnipegGuppy Graphic DesignLong & McQuade, and Payworks.

Leading up to the bonspiel, BT Winnipeg teamed up with curling pro Jon Mead, Imaginary Cities' Rusty Matyas, Oh My Darling's Vanessa Kuzina, and a cast of others to star in the instructional video spoof, 'Etiquette for the Competent Curler'. This is the latest in the City Winnipeg creative team's curling video productions. They picked up a 2013 Signature Award for the Manitoba Music Rocks “Curling Tips Series” featuring the likes of John K. Samson and JP Hoe, and produced a music video for Indicator Indicator's original tune, "Let Me Introduce Curling". The videos have aired on Breakfast Television, streamed on the City website, and collectively racked up a few thousand views on YouTube.

The bonspiel itself drew some familiar faces from the music world, including The Weakerthans' Stephen Carroll, Imaginary Cities’ Rusty Matyas, Oh My Darling’s Vanessa Kuzina; representatives from Winnipeg’s live music scene, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Festival du Voyageur, West End Cultural Centre, Casinos of Winnipeg, and Big Fun Festival; among many others.

While a date and location have yet to be confirmed, the fourth annual Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Curling Bonspiel will be held in early 2015.

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