UTM rocks for cancer research

Local artists perform at the benefit concert. EDWARD CAI/THE MEDIUM

The UTM Women’s Centre and UTM Music Club hosted the “Rock for a Breast” benefit concert at the Blind Duck Pub on Friday night as part of Keep a Breast Canada’s “Music for Awareness” initiative.


Students enjoyed music by local artists Sola (featuring Ricky Solo), Rob Moir, District 5, Red Nightfall, and the Balconies. Concert proceeds will fund breast cancer research and breast cancer education programs by Keep a Breast Canada.


“People need to be more aware,” said Farah Shubbar, an event volunteer. “Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we can’t get breast cancer.”


According to Keep a Breast Canada, about 23,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Keep a Breast Foundation aims to decrease this statistic by teaching young people about breast cancer through arts events, concerts, and educational programs. The “Music for Awareness” campaign is part of that mission.

Red Nightfall band member Patrick Illian captured the feelings of the performers concerning the importance of the breast cancer cause.


“It’s something that affects everyone,” Illian said. “We all have women in our lives who could get breast cancer.”


Concert attendee Yasmeen Shubber said the event was a different approach to a pub night and a great way to support talent in Toronto and the GTA.


In the low-lit pub, tables carried Keep a Breast pamphlets, newsletters, and stickers that read “I love boobies”. The Balconies also sold merchandise the proceeds of which went to breast cancer research foundations. Students drank, ate, and conversed in the mellow atmosphere set by the performances. The crowd particularly enjoyed the District 5 set and chanted for an encore.


“It would be wonderful to have this concert as an annual event,” said Antara Ashra, UTMWC’s volunteer coordinator. “It would also be great to host the concert as annual event, taking on a different cause each year, but it’s up to the students and what they choose to do next year.”