Deaf music lover gets her wish — a fully accessible Montreal concert

As an avid music lover, Luttrell had been hoping for Deaf Finnish rap artist Signmark to come to Montreal and today her wish was granted.

Natasha Luttrell wanted to bring Deaf Finnish rap artist Signmark to Montreal

Natasha Luttrell participated in BMO's Wish It Forward initiative, asking that Deaf Finnish rapper Signmark be brought to Montreal for a concert. (CBC)

Natasha Luttrell is Deaf, but that doesn't stop her from enjoying live music.

She was born hearing, and told CBC that she likes concerts because she has memories of sound, and likes feeling the vibrations.

As an avid music lover, Luttrell had been hoping for Deaf Finnish rap artist Signmark to come to Montreal and today, her wish was granted.

"It's amazing. I cant believe it happened," Luttrell said through an interpreter. 

People crowded into the theatre for the free concert held Sunday morning. (CBC)

She was all smiles during today's free concert hosted by the Montreal symphony orchestra — an event that brought together people from the Deaf community as well as the hearing.

"It was fascinating to see the orchestra, the visuals," she said. "You could really feel the vibrations where I was sitting."

The event was organized based on a wish she made as part of the Wish it Forward campaign put on by BMO, so naturally Luttrell got the best seat in the house.

Signmark (right) performs onstage with Chike Ohanwe. (CBC)

"When I read her wish, I thought it was simple yet so powerful," said Mario Rigante, senior vice president of BMO Quebec.

"It's a special one because it brings together the Deaf community and the hearing community."

For his part, rapper Signmark told CBC through an interpreter that he jumped at the chance to participate in the event.

"When I first heard about this story and this wish, I thought it was amazing. I decided right away I had to be here," he said. "I'm always very happy to make someone else happy."

Deaf musician Signmark wants to make dreams come true

5 years ago
Duration 0:40
Deaf musician Signmark wants to make dreams come true

In June, Luttrell petitioned organizers of the Montreal International Jazz Festival to provide an American Sign Language interpreter for one of their shows.

She went on to file a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission after her request was denied.

She told CBC Sunday that she hopes this kind of event will help bring the issue to the forefront.

"People need to understand that sign language is not a service, sign language is a right."

With files from Matt D'Amours