BLANKFEST VANCOUVER Raises Over $1,000 and Over 200 Clothing Items For Homeless
“The first annual Blankfest blanketed the city of Vancouver on November 10th to help those in need raising awareness, clothing and funds for Covenant House.”
The first annual Blankfest Vancouver, which has joined the rankings of Montreal, Calgary, NYC and many others around the globe to help the homeless is proud to announce it has raised over $1,000 and over 200 clothing items for the city’s less fortunate with proceeds being donated to Covenant House, the non-profit shelter that helps cities street youth from age 16-24 who have fled physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, along with those who have been forced from their homes or those who have aged out of foster care.
“It makes us very happy to say that for the 1st Annual Blank-Fest event held in Vancouver, was a resounding success! The caliber of talent that crossed the stage and brought their fans out made us very proud to be a part of the independent music scene. HUGE thanks going out to all those involved including but not exclusive to The Railway Club, 12 incredible bands and artists, SIN Agency staff, Asher Media Relations, Schwappy.com, Long & McQuade, Rory Alan Watson Photography and Covenant House Vancouver. We can’t wait for next year! Thank you for bringing it out Vancouver!” comments organizer and SIN Agency rep Leanne Harrison.
Taking place from 2pm to 2am this past Saturday on November 10th at The Railway Club, 12 rock and metal bands from across British Columbia and Alberta, which included Matt Blais, Kathy Frank, Mad Young Darlings, The Deadwax Collective, Handsome Distraction, Cry of Silence, The Mighty One, Open Air, The Coalition, Versus The Nothing, Thorntyr and Titans Eve offered their musical support to help raise awareness and the following funds and blankets for the homeless.
$1,245 in cash donations
166 Various Clothing Items ex. Tuques Gloves, Sweat Shirts etc.
About: Covenant House, founded in 1997 is a non-profit organization that offers a clear exit from life on the street to youth aged 16 – 24. They make this possible through a carefully designed Continuum of Care including a daily drop-in, a 54 bed crisis shelter, transitional housing, relapse prevention and life-skills training.
Each day young people come to them damaged from the abuses of their past, desperately needing love and guidance. Over the next year more than 1,500 homeless young people will come to Covenant House Vancouver and take the first steps in creating a better life for themselves by reaching out and saying, “Can you help me?”… and together they can.
If you would like to help please call (604) 638-GIFT (4438) or visit www.covenanthousebc.org.
100 Words on Covenant House.pdf - http://fburls.com/65-4zO15vwj
Covenant House Overview.pdf - http://fburls.com/35-Cwkrfugw
Covenant House Poster – Love Hope.pdf - http://fburls.com/51-NXBi8dmj
2012 BANDS AND ARTISTS
Kathy Frank (Blues/ Rock) Coquitlam, BC
Mad Young Darlings (Rock/ Alt Rock) Winnipeg MB
https://www.facebook.com/MadYoungDarlings - http://youtu.be/E4de2zTkl-4
The Deadwax Collective (Rock) Vancouver, BC
https://www.facebook.com/thedeadwaxcollective - http://youtu.be/fZfyIYidWOA
Handsome Distraction (Pop Rock) Victoria, BC
https://www.facebook.com/handsomedistraction - http://youtu.be/ywvFMnjvHNo
Cry of Silence (Punk/ Grunge) Vancouver, BC
TheMightyOne (Rock) Vancouver, BC
Open Air (Rock) Calgary, AB
https://www.facebook.com/openairrock - http://youtu.be/VeBvStCIK-A - http://youtu.be/9ViQzQNxIbA
The Coalition (Rock) Vancouver, BC
Versus the Nothing (Alternative Hard Rock) Vancouver, BC
Thorntyr Vancouver (Metal/ Hard Core) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorntyr/120583114683688
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Titans-Eve/53568260495Make sure you check out each of the artists who donated their time and show them support!On Twitter? Please RT and Hashtag #BlankFestYVR
BlankFest Documentary 1
Blankfest Documentary II
BlankFest Documentary III
Blank-Fest is an annual benefit concert, usually held one-to-two weeks before Christmas, which raises blankets for the homeless. It was founded in 1997 in Nyack, NY (a suburb approximately 20 miles outside of New York City) by Kenn Rowell who is the frontman for the NYC-based band, The Baghdaddios.
Over the years Blank-Fest has collected over 5,900 total donations for the homeless. With the exception of one year (2001) donations in every year has increased. Much of this growth can be attributed to increased exposure through local radio, the internet and the press, including featured articles in the New York Daily News and mentions in the New York Post. In addition there have been satellite shows that have been formed in other states, cities and countries. So numerous have donations been in recent years that volunteers have had to split the distribution/delivery of blankets to the less fortunate on multiple nights, starting on Christmas Eve. Often excess donations are distributed to homeless shelters as well.
Efforts to duplicate the successes of the early Nyack shows proved elusive at best until New Jersey-based independent artist activist, Richard Kubicz read about Blank-Fest’s efforts in the Daily News and proposed a “sister show” at a local club in Garwood, NJ. The first Blank-Fest-NJ, promoted extensively through Kubicz’s D.I.Y. music website Let’s Rock America  was a resounding success, netting 200 blankets which were donated directly to a neighboring homeless shelter in Cranford and garnered notice in the Bergen County press in 2006. Last year’s second annual Jersey show produced similar results. Similarly, Blank-Fest UK  was founded in Nottingham, England after a local recording studio owner heard an interview with The Baghdaddios on the British Armed Forces Radio Network, BFBS Radio One during the group’s Summer 2007 tour of England. Upon hearing about both the American and UK efforts Ontario-based photographer Gaynor Fletcher approached Rowell regarding the formation of a Blank-Fest Canada show. Also, debuting in 2007, in Guelph, ON, the inauguaral Canadian event featured popular Canadian folk artist James Gordon and was covered extensively by the Canadian media , raising well over 100 blankets.
In addition to these shows former Baghdaddios bassist, John Sidoti joined forces with local internet radio personality Ron Purtee to develop the first-ever Blank-Fest Wisconsin, , also in 2007, in the Milwaukee-area suburb of Racine.
Currently, there are 8 Blank-Fest shows serving 7 major metropolitan areas in three countries. In addition to those mentioned previously, 2008 has seen the addition of three additional shows: Blank-Fest Florida, which is hosted in Northern Florida (Lake City, near Gainesville, FL) and Blank-Fest VA, which is hosted in Richmond, VA (see links below).
In addition, promoters in Bridgeport, CT as well as Ottawa, Canada have begun work for premiere Blank-Fest shows in December 2009. The first Blank-Fest Quebec (which was also the first “post-Holiday Season” Blank-Fest show) which took place on Saturday evening, February 21, 2009, garnered approximately 503 total donations .
Currently plans are in development to expand Blank-Fest even further. There has been talk of shows in Texas, Northeast Pennsylvania, Ohio and Atlanta, GA. Several additional popular artists have been approached regarding future such shows. Quoted in a newspaper interview in 2000, Rowell maintained that “as long as there is the issue of homelessness we will continue to have a Blank-Fest”, further adding that he wishes “we didn’t have to hold these shows” but that, until the situation dramatically improves, everyone involved understands that they really have no other choice.