For the second year in a row the streets of Toronto were flooded with musicians as top music artists and less well known musicians busked for change on September 29, 2009 to raise money and increase awareness for War Child Canada. Busking for Change successfully raised money for War Child Canada on the streets of Toronto and Calgary with over $100,000 being raised in 2009, over double the amount raised in 2008! War Child Canada is a young charity, (founded in 1999), that provides humanitarian assistance to children afflicted by war. The charity has well known associations with the music industry and uses social media to spread the world and garner support from individuals. It communicates through its YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/warchildcan, and its website at http://www.warchild.ca/. In addition, it uses Facebook to communicate to "fans," http://www.facebook.com/pages/War-Child-Canada/10359721433, MySpace to post music tracks from its fundraising albums, http://www.myspace.com/warchildheroes, and Twitter to spread the word on fundraisers and cause-related issues. War Child Canada has been recognised over the years for its inventive and creative marketing approaches that yield results.
Busking for Change was pioneered three years ago by Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace and three years later approximately 50 recording artists busked for change for War Child Canada on the streets of Toronto, a similar event taking place later in the week in Calgary. Chantal Kreviazuk, who lends her name to a number of charitable causes, and is married to Raine Maida, led the way at First Canadian Place, determined to raise $30,000 for War Child Canada and specifically for a Darfur youth centre. Other musicians such as Sass Jordan, Shiloh, Brian Melo, Never Ending White Lights, ill Scarlett, and USS, just to name a few, could also be found Busking for Change and wooing pedestrians to part with their change for War Child Canada. One could also donate online to this cause at http://www.warchild.ca/.
War Child Canada has a well known association with the music world. Earlier this year singer song-writer Liam Titcomb spearheaded a two month summer fundraiser, traveling across Canada to raise money for the cause – his inspiration, involvement in Busking for Change last year in Toronto and seeing the generosity of the human spirit.
War Child Canada recognises the power of music and the ability of well known recording artists to rally people around their cause. They released three albums over the last few years, benefit compilations, with contributions from celebrated music artists such as McCartney, Radiohead, and Our Lady Peace. The latest album, HEROES, released in Canada in March 2009, included 16 cover songs selected by top musicians from their music repertoire. Each musician designated a more recent artist of their choice to record their song selection for the War Child fundraiser. The album was released in the UK, the US, and Canada. Music icons that lent their support to the War Child fundraiser are Bob Dylan, Roxy Music, The Clash, Paul McCartney, U2, David Bowie, Joy Division, The Kinks, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, The Ramones, Blondie, and Leonard Cohen. You can hear clips from the War Child HEROES album on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/warchildheroes. Further details on War Child Canada’s marketing efforts can be found at http://mktgcliks.blogspot.com/2009/06/marketing-awards-war-child-canada.html .
Below you can see War Child Canada's promotional piece for Busking for Change, a video clip on the event from the Torontoist, and a fundraising piece for War Child Canada from Chantal Kreviazuk.
Busking for Change promotional piece from War Child Canada http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9oY2bhUIBc
Torontoist video clip from Busking for Change http://torontoist.com/2009/10/busking_for_war_child.php
Busking for Change initiative for War Child Canada from Chantal Kreviazuk http://www.blip.tv/file/2633833