Manitoba’s music scene has rocked the house for charity. Over 140 curlers joined event organizers Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music at the 2015 Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Bonspiel at the Granite Curling Club on February 28. The sold out event brought the province's vibrant music community together to raise over $4,400 for the Kevin Walters Memorial Fund.
Established last year, the Fund is a charity that honours Kevin Walters' memory through financial support for promising performers and organizations in music, film, performance and the creative arts. Walters, who passed away in June 2014, had very close ties with Manitoba Music, Manitoba Film & Music, as well as larger the music industry.
The generous support of sponsors has been key to raising these funds. We would like to thank all our sponsors: video sponsor City, beer sponsor Half Pints Brewing Co., toque sponsor Special T Shirt Company, draw sponsors New Canadian Music and SOCAN, and sheet sponsors Asham, The Forks, Guppy Graphic Design, Long & McQuade, Ralph James, Six Shooter Records, and the West End Cultural Centre. We would also like to thank all the companies that donated silent auction prizes, and of course, all those who participated in and supported this year's event.
“It’s an honour to be able to do our part to help the Kevin Walters Memorial Fund achieve its goals. To do it at such a fun event surrounded by the talented and generous members of our music community is particularly fitting. Uniting the community is exactly what Kevin was about," said Manitoba Music's executive director, Sean McManus.
"This event gets better and better each year," said Stephen Carroll, music programs manager at Manitoba Film & Music. "There is so much amazing spirit and energy in this community and the bonspiel is a fantastic display of that. It's become a hallmark music event in Manitoba."
Leading up to the bonspiel, a stellar cast of local music personalities -- including JP Hoe, Chic Gamine's Andrina Turenne, Sarah Michaelson (aka Mama Cutsworth), and Manitoba Music's Donna Evans, plus guest star and curling mainstay Arnold Asham -- assembled to shoot the series of three videos at the Granite Curling Club. Spoofing a few well-known movies and film tropes with the invariable curling theme, the videos were launched to spread the word about the bonspiel and the Fund, airing on Wheeler in the Morning and online at manitobamusic.com/curling.
The bonspiel itself drew some familiar faces from the music world, including members of Royal Canoe, Imaginary Cities, Sons of York, Yes We Mystic, Mobina Galore; representatives from Winnipeg’s live music scene, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Festival du Voyageur, The Good Will, West End Cultural Centre, Big Fun Festival, and Rainbow Trout Music Festival; among many others.
While a date and location have yet to be confirmed, the sixth annual Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Bonspiel will be held in early 2016.