Manitoba

South Osborne concert raises money to help bring Syrian families to Winnipeg

Close to 350 people packed the Park Theatre on Tuesday night for a sold-out fundraising concert to help bring Syrian refugee families to Winnipeg.

South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative and Churchill Park United Church hope to sponsor 3 families

DJ Co-Op performs at a benefit concert at the Park Theatre on Tuesday night. The concert was organized by the South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative and Churchill Park United Church. (CBC)

Close to 350 people packed the Park Theatre on Tuesday night for a sold-out fundraising concert to help bring Syrian refugee families to Winnipeg.

The South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative teamed up with Churchill Park United Church for the benefit concert, which featured performances by The Bonaduces, Sweet Alibi and DJ Co-Op.

Event co-organizer Matthew Lawrence said the goal is to raise a total of $90,000 "so that we can hopefully sponsor three families" who have relatives already living in the city.

"We just felt really compelled to take some action," Lawrence said.

Benefit concert co-organizer Matthew Lawrence says emergency funds are needed to support Syrian families bound for Winnipeg. (CBC)
"We started by thinking maybe we could just get involved in something else, but we kind of kept waiting and waiting and nothing was happening, so we decided, 'Let's just start something ourselves.'"

A GoFundMe campaign launched by the South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative has already raised more than $60,000. Lawrence said he hopes the concert will raise another $10,000.

He added that it's good to see people in the community support the cause.

"Had a church meeting; we thought maybe like a dozen people would show up," he said. "It ended up we had 50-plus people show up."

Organizers are encouraging those who could not attend the concert to donate through the GoFundMe page.

now