FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Local Artists Join Voices to Support Survivors of Sexual Assault

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                   April 3, 2018

 

Local artists join voices to support survivors of sexual assault

 

Halifax – Local artists are coming together to take a stand against sexual assault and fundraise for Halifax’s Avalon Sexual Assault Centre during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Together Our Voices Are Powerful will be a night of song and a way to show collective resilience on April 21, 2018.

“As someone who has been through my unfair share of social injustice, disrespect and disregard for the word no, this event is very important to me,” says Emily Stuart, a pop singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Halifax who’s one of the performers.

Jackie Stevens, Avalon’s Executive Director, says events such as this re-inforce Avalon’s powerful #StartByBelieving message that sexual assault survivors are supported. “At a time when #MeToo is shining a light on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and abuse in society and inspiring many people to share their stories and revisit past traumas, this event offers people a way of coming together and joining voices so they feel less alone,” Stevens says.

Halifax-based trio, Neon Dreams, will be performing at the event with songwriter Jodi Guthro, who last month released her breakout song “Broken Wings” on International Women’s Day. Neon Dreams publicly showed they are in solidarity with survivors by dropping out of its tour with Canadian rock-band, Hedley, after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Neon Dreams have rapidly emerged as one of the brightest new stars on the Canadian music horizon with tracks reaching over 8 million streams on Spotify and selling over 10,000 units in Canada.

Together Our Voices are Powerful is happening at St. Matthew’s Church on Barrington St. in Halifax. Writer and broadcaster Stephanie Domet will emcee. It’s the first time Avalon’s held a major fundraiser during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of sexual violence and highlighting the need for support and services to those affected by sexual assault.

“I think music has the ability to uplift people’s spirits when they need it most…song-writing will never feel like a job to me,” says another performer, Makayla-Lynn. She was named “one to watch” by Rolling Stone Magazine, and earned Music Nova Scotia’s country album of the year in 2017.

A fifth featured performer is indie-rock artist T. Thomason. “I’m super excited to be part of the Avalon Centre fundraiser. The scope of the work they do not only includes supporting survivors of abuse, but challenging the system and the norms our culture has created to allow such incidents to occur so frequently and go unexamined for so long,” he says of his motivation to participate.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased through Eventbrite. There will also be a silent auction. All proceeds will go to Avalon to support services for victims/survivors including the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, Community/Legal Education and Training and specialized sexual assault trauma-specific therapeutic counselling.

 

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Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is a non-profit feminist organization working to eliminate sexual assault/abuse, and to change the current socio-political culture that fosters sexism, social injustice and other forms of oppression.

 

Contact: Jackie Stevens, Executive Director, Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, Halifax, NS,  executivedirector@avaloncentre.ca. The performing artists are also available for interviews: Neon Dreams and Jodi Guthro (John Poirier: 902 429-0122); Makayla Lynn (makayla@makaylalynn.com); T. Thomason (the.t.thomason@gmail.com); and Emily Stuart (emstuu@icloud.com).