A festival of Canada's top country music stars are gathering for a tribute concert in honour of the victims of the tragic bus crash that took the lives of 16 Humboldt Broncos players and staff, and seriously injured 13 more.
Signed on to appear at Country Thunder are Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Gord Bamford, Chad Brownlee, Jess Moskaluke, and Saskatchewan band Hunter Brothers, and they have all donated their services for the benefit concert that is to be staged at Saskatoon's 15,000-capacity SaskTel Centre on April 27.
According to concert organizer, Troy Vollhoffer of Country Thunder, which produces country concerts, proceeds will be donated to the families of the players.
Finding an appropriate and timely date to hold a tribute concert was important for the cause, Vollhoffer said.
“To maximize the ability to raise money to actually help these folks out is an immediate situation,” he added.
“There are no questions asked, and everyone is donating their time.”
Former NHL players and other special guests are also scheduled to appear at the fundraiser.
Other Canadian artists have paid tribute to the victims of the horrific crash, among them Paul Brandt, who performed a powerful song on q, as well as Drake, who sported a Broncos jersey at a recent Toronto Raptors game. After the game, he and the Raptors signed the jersey, which will be auctioned to raise funds for the families.
Country Thunder VP of Operations, Ted Gross, says plans for a concert came together shortly after the news of the tragedy spread over the weekend.
“We know music has the power to bring people together and heal,” Gross told reporters in Regina April 12.
"If there is any light shining through this dark time, it has come in the form of love for one another. Our families and our entire organization have been blessed to feel this love from people from around the globe," said Kevin Garinger, president of the Humboldt Broncos, in a statement.
"Our priority currently remains focused, as it has since day one, on working to support our Bronco families, especially now as they are celebrating the lives of their loved ones and supporting our players who are struggling to heal."
On April 6, the Humboldt Broncos team bus collided with a semi. Sixteen hockey players and team staff were killed, 13 were injured, 9 remain in hospital with two are in critical condition.
A GoFundMe page that has already raised $14 million — one of the largest-ever sums on the fundraising site — was shut down on Wednesday.
Tickets priced at $65 are available at Ticketmaster.
– Various sources including CBC News