'Fire on the Mountain' concert helps 2003 wildfire victims
Floods, famine, fire and drought — when disaster strikes at home and around the world, Canadians are ready to help. For musicians and actors, helping often means organizing large relief concerts. These shows are great entertainment and have raised millions of dollars. But at times, critics have questioned the long-term benefit of these extravaganzas. CBC Archives looks back at some of Canada's disaster relief concerts.
• The Fire on the Mountain concert took place Sept. 27, 2003, in Kamloops, B.C.
• Performers included Matthew Good, Tracey Brown, Chantal Kreviazuk, Natalie McMaster, Michelle Wright, the Moffats and Prairie Oyster.
• Approximately 20,000 people attended. There was no admission fee, but there was a suggested $20 donation per person or $50 per family. Through those donations the concert raised over $80,000.
• People who lost their homes in the fires were invited as special guests and were seated in a 100-seat VIP section near the front of the stage. Firefighters and Canadian soldiers were also seated in the VIP section.
• Fire victims attending the concert were extremely moved by the effort and generosity. In a 2003 Vancouver Province article, a concert attendee who lost his home said of the concert: "I've never experienced anything as emotional as this." He was also impressed that he got to meet one of his favourite musicians after the show. "Never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd get to hug Natalie McMaster."
• In the same article, performer Natalie McMaster discussed what an emotional experience it was to take part in the show. "It's so amazing to talk to people who've been right there in the midst of the tragedy. They take you into their world. I'm just reminded all day of why we're here."
• The concert was just one of many B.C. fundraising efforts to help the fire victims. According to a 2003 Vancouver Sun article, "millions of dollars have been raised in private and corporate donation to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by fires in and around Kelowna and Kamloops. Everyone from General Motors to Cher to kids with lemonade stands have pitched in to help." (Singer Cher donated $5,000 to the Salvation Army for fire relief after her August 2003 concert in British Columbia.)
• Other Canadian disaster relief concerts include:
- The Westray Mining Disaster Concert, Halifax, May 1992, to help families of those killed in the Westray disaster
- The Watershed Festival, Walkerton, Ont., September 2000, to help the town after its tainted water crisis
- The Pay it Forward II concert, St. John's, Nfld., March 2003, to help victims of a severe flood in Badger, Nfld.
- The Peterborough Flood Relief Concert, Peterborough, Ont., August 2004, to aid victims of the Peterborough flood
Program: Saturday Report
Broadcast Date: Sept. 27, 2003
Guests: Lynn Chrystal, Keith Glass, Herman Roth
Host: Carole MacNeil
Reporter: Bonnie Allen
Last updated: August 6, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
A concert at Maple Leaf Gardens asks Canadians to donate money for vic...
The CBC broadcasts a benefit for Vietnamese refugees in 1979, but gets...
Canadian country musicians put on a show to help ailing Prairie farmer...
This heart-wrenching TV report from the CBC's Brian Stewart inspired f...
More than 50 Canadian stars lend their voices to a 1985 song to help t...
On the eve of the "ultimate performance" for famine relief, Bryan Adam...
Duran Duran, U2 and Madonna are among the performers at a mammoth two-...
Performers put on a show to aid the families of those killed in the 19...
A Calgary concert raises money to help repair the damage wrought by th...
High school students show off their fundraising efforts at a concert f...
A free concert in Ottawa raises over $5 million to help people hit har...
A 2001 Toronto concert helps Afghan refugees.
Between benefit concerts, Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies ponders ...
Musician Sam Roberts tells the CBC what it's like to play for the larg...
Politicians square off on whether Toronto Rocks will help the city rec...
A benefit concert in B.C. aims to help victims of the province's massi...
Canada For Asia's tsunami relief concert pulls together a huge lineup ...
Floods, famine, fire and drought -- when disaster strikes at home and ...