Metal Music Festival Helps Cancer Charity


A young Nanaimo musician found a way to give a boost to the metal music scene while helping charity at the same time.

Joey Paul, 15, was the driving force behind the Big Bust, a metal music festival with proceeds going toward breast cancer treatment and research.

The idea was planted after Paul performed at the blues festival last August in Maffeo Sutton Park.

“I had this weird idea that we could do that but with heavier music,” Paul said.

With the guidance of Manda Chelmak, director of Headliners School of Performing Arts, where he is a student, Paul planned the festival for the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre, the old Caprice Theatre, for Friday (Feb. 25).

They called Vancouver’s Ninja Spy, who also put them in touch with We the Undersigned, a popular band based in Montreal, and both bands agreed to donate their time for the festival.

“People were really wanting to get involved,” Paul said. “It really shocked me.”

Also on the bill are local bands The Whiteboard Project, Ravensun, Scion, Eye of Odin and Paul’s band Foreign Influence.

“I’m stoked to see Eye of Odin and I’m playing, so I’m pretty stoked about that, too,” Paul said.

Although it’s pegged as a metal festival, Paul said he wanted some variety among the bands.

“I like supporting all metal,” he said. “I respect all music.”

Chelmak said she came on board with the project after seeing the musicians – all less than 30 years of age – step up to help their community.

“It should be recognized and commended,” she said.

Her rock school students often play charity events like Wheels in Motion and collect donations for the food bank at their year-end concerts.

As part of those events, Paul experienced how rewarding it is to drop off donations at the food bank.

“Being a good person helps you be a good performer,” Paul said. “Everybody should give a little bit.”

The event is open to all ages, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and music at about 6 p.m. Food and refreshments will be available and the bands will be selling merchandise like T-shirts.

Tickets $15/advance from Harbour City Music, Tranceformations and Headliners; $20/door. Money raised will go toward the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

For more information, please call 250-753-2323.

By Melissa Fryer – Nanaimo News Bulletin

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