Suicide prevention concert honours late Nathan Condon
'Let people know suicide is a problem and it's not a dirty word'
Friends of the late musician are coming together Friday for the Nathan Condon Memorial Concert for Suicide Prevention.
Condon, a popular musician and father of two, took his own life in August 2017 at the age of 32.
"He could play anything on that fiddle and knew where to stick a sweet note in whenever it was needed in a piece of music," said his friend Wendell Cameron of the band Not All There, with whom Condon played for 20 years starting when he was just 12.
It'd be so much nicer to have him there with us.— Wendell Cameron
"I don't think he realized the extent of the talent that he had. You could pass almost any musical instrument to him and if you left it with him for a few minutes he'd figure out how to play it," Cameron told Island Morning's Matt Rainnie.
Over the years, Condon played with many bands, which Cameron said has made gathering acts to play for the concert easy.
He said he was aware Condon had been struggling with his mental health but hadn't realized how serious it was.
'Owed it to him'
Cameron said he wanted to honour Condon, whom he praised as a fabulous musician, and raise awareness of the importance of talking about suicide in hopes of preventing it.
Cameron shared he struggled for "well over 20 years" — he had a difficult time coming to terms with his homosexuality, he said, which led him to contemplate suicide.
"I just felt that I owed it to him and his family, and my family, to maybe help someone else," he said.
Cameron wants people to know there is help through Crisis Services Canada's 24/7 hotline, 1-833-456-4566.
The number is on stickers Cameron is handing out at the concert and giving to Summerside-area businesses.
"We're hoping people will take them and post them on any public place that will allow us to have those posted and get that telephone number out there," he said.
Will be 'bittersweet'
Cameron's band played in a benefit concert for Condon last year, which he called "bittersweet."
"It was great to be able to be there to pay tribute to him, but it's bitter that we have to pay tribute to him. It'd be so much nicer to have him there with us," Cameron said.
He said he hopes this concert and the stickers open up the topic of suicide.
"Let people know suicide is a problem and it's not a dirty word," Cameron said.
He credits Condon's family for agreeing to the concert and allowing his name to be used for the cause.
The concert will feature Kelley Mooney along with Devon Broome, Dave Wigmore, fiddler Cynthia MacLeod, stepdancing by Samantha MacKay, and more with host Rev. Andrew Richardson.
It's scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Church on Spring Street in Summerside. Proceeds will go to Lennon Recovery House, a mental health and addictions facility planned for Rustico, P.E.I. Admission is by donation with a suggested minimum donation of $10.
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With files from Matt Rainnie