#Schools4FortMac: NB students raise money for Fort McMurray wildfire victims
“The wildfires have affected the entire country. The devastation, images and stories of the lives shattered by this resonate with everyone; but, perhaps none more so than Albertans,” Nickelback’s Ryan Peake said. “Alberta is home for us and we’ve never shied from that.
“When tragedy strikes at home, you help.
“It’s the least we could do and we are humbled to be a part of this event with so many talented artists. So many people have answered the call for help already. This is the least we can do and we hope that our efforts can assist those that need it most,” Peake said.
Watch below: Nickelback is among the dozen or so performers at the Fire Aid Concert, to be held June 29 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.
The concert will also feature Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Dean Brody, The Rankin Family, Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Randy Bachman with The Sadies, Ian Tyson, Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies, Dear Rouge, and High Valley.
Tickets will cost $35, $60 and $99 and will go on sale May 30 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.
Watch below: Organizers for the Fire Aid concert in support of Fort McMurray wildfire victims say Nickelback were the first ones to call and offer their services for a benefit concert.
A program is being set up through Ticketmaster that will allow buyers to purchase extra tickets that will then be distributed to Fort McMurray residents.
Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium seats just over 60,000 people.
City of Edmonton
The football stadium concert venue could accommodate between 40,000 and 45,000 people, an organizer said. None of the performers are being paid and the organizing group is working with donors and sponsors to handle travel and other expenses.
All funds raised will go directly to the Fort McMurray United Way. The United Way will work with the various agencies on the ground in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to help the thousands of affected residents.
“On behalf of my entire community, we’re truly overwhelmed by the support shown to us over the past three weeks,” Diane Shannon, executive director of the Fort McMurray United Way, said, her voice breaking.
“Today particularly I’m so grateful and so moved to be here and to know that the proceeds of Fire Aid will have a profound impact on our ability to allocate the resources necessary to rebuild lives and provide hope to many.”
The concert is being planned by members of Alberta’s Fire Aid Organizing Committee, a group of citizens who got together in a Calgary pub a few weeks ago to begin planning the event.
Jeff Parry, a Calgary-based concert promoter and producer, was involved in the 2013 southern Alberta flood benefit concert and said Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium seemed like an obvious choice for Fire Aid.
“The money is one thing, but bringing communities together… it’s like your barn’s burned down and everyone is going to go and help fix the barn. You just go do it and get ‘er done,” Parry said.
WATCH: FireAid tickets go on sale May 30, tickets ‘reasonably priced’ to be ‘available to all.’
LiveNation and several other agencies came on board, and the concert was quickly organized.
“Obviously this province has had the hell kicked out of it, and Fort McMurray has really taken it in the teeth,” Parry added. “Oil was $50 yesterday, so things are looking up. I really think there’s an opportunity here for us to come together and really that’s the essence.”
Co-chairing Fire Aid for Fort McMurray are three Edmonton-based community leaders: Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) CEO and Vice Chair Bob Nicholson, Edmonton Eskimos Football Club President and CEO Len Rhodes, and Northlands President and CEO Tim Reid. The mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Melissa Blake, is also a special Honorary Chair.
TD Bank Group also joined the Fire Aid effort with a $500,000 donation.
Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate northeastern Alberta earlier this month when a nearby wildfire took off, sweeping through the community and destroying over 2,400 structures. A four-day phased voluntary re-entry will begin next week.
READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘We expect weeks, if not months, fighting this fire’
WATCH: The biggest Fort McMurray benefit to date is set to take the stage at Commonwealth in June. All funds raised from ticket sales will support the Fort McMurray United Way. Executive Director Diane Shannon explains how much the support means.