Nickelback, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Dean Brody and Ian Tyson are to headline a Fort McMurray benefit concert at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on Wednesday, June 29.
Also on the bill are the Rankin Family, Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Randy Bachman with the Sadies, Alan Doyle, Dear Rouge and High Valley.
The concert, officially named Fire Aid for Fort McMurray, was announced Thursday morning at the Commonwealth Stadium Recreation Centre.
Organizers of the event consist of volunteers from across the province, including staff of the Edmonton Eskimos, Oilers Entertainment Group, Live Nation and Northlands. The money raised will go to the Fort McMurray United Way. TD Bank Group has already donated $500,000 to Fire Aid.
The Edmonton Music Awards, originally scheduled for the same night at Winspear Centre, obligingly moved their gala up one day to Tuesday, June 28. All tickets purchased for that event are transferable, full refunds to anyone unable to attend. “We don’t want anyone excluded from participating in what will be a very successful and worthy Fort McMurray fundraising effort,” an EMA statement considerately stated.
Tickets that are to go on sale on Monday are scaled between $35 and $99. Available through Ticketmaster, the company's website be promoting the option to purchase tickets as donations to be given away to Fort McMurray residents. The tickets will likely be distributed through the United Way. Capacity for the show will be between 40,000-45,000.
“No matter what we raise here in the millions it’s going to be a Band-Aid compared to the billions needed,” committee member Jeff Parry told the Edmonton Journal. “When your barn’s burned down you just go (rebuild) it and get ‘er done. Ask not what your province can do for your province but what you can do for your province.”
“The wildfires have affected the entire country. The devastation, images and stories of the lives shattered by this resonate with everyone; but, perhaps none more so than Albertans," Nickelback's Ryan Peak said in an e-mail. "Alberta is home for us and we’ve never shied from that. When tragedy strikes at home, you help. It’s the least we could do and we are humbled to be a part of this event with so many talented artists. So many people have answered the call for help already. This is the least we can do and we hope that our efforts can assist those that need it most.”
Western Canada's Invictus Entertainment Group president Jim Cressman added his own thoughts on what it means for the acts who are performing on the fund-raiser. "Edmonton is the largest ticket selling market in Canada for most of these acts and they are donating their performance. That's a six or seven figure commitment for some of them. You don't need to be a 'fan' to appreciate the gesture."
Unattributed Fort McMurray tribute posted to YouTube on May 8th