Covers for the Cause links artists and fans for charity

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      Ask most musicians what they enjoy about performing, and they’ll tell you how much they love giving back to their devoted followers. Ask most fans what they appreciate about their favourite artists, and they’ll tell you that they’re all about the music.

      Recognizing how special the mutual dedication between musicians and their devotees can be, Music Heals has launched a new program, Covers for the Cause: a project that allows fans and performers to support not just each other, but music therapy programs across the nation.

      Covers for the Cause is a platform that allows listeners to request a personalized video from their favourite artist. Fans can ask for a version of any track, in return for a tax-deductible donation to Music Heals. Musicians, in turn, offer their time and art to their charitable supporters, allowing them to fundraise through the shared appreciation of great songs.

      “We’ve listened to artists who have told us that they are looking for creative ways to give back,” Music Heals executive director Chris Brandt says. “Music Heals supporters are, first and foremost, music fans. This puts the musician and the fan in direct contact, for the purpose of supporting music therapy for kids, seniors, palliative care, dementia, and more.”

      The artist is totally in control of how much energy they dedicate to the project, deciding how many cover requests they will take, and the minimum donation to ask for. They will then record simple videos—including a dedication to the donor—and either post the footage to their own YouTube page or pass it on directly to the fan.

      True to the program’s DIY ethic, the musicians use their phone cameras to record the track themselves, choosing when and where to hit the red button. Rehearsal studios, living rooms, or kitchens are prime spots for taping the song, with one artists even going so far as to play inside the Sea to Sky gondola as it ascended up the Chief.

      The Music Heals Charitable Foundation focuses on fundraising for music therapy and related services across Canada. Increasing awareness of the healing power of music, the charity aims to offer patients in children’s hospitals, seniors’ homes, palliative care facilities, bereavement support, and at-risk youth access to music as a creative outlet. Running for four years to date, the foundation has donated nearly a million dollars to music therapy programs across the county. 

      Check out www.CoversForTheCause.com to make requests.

      The Matinee—"Happy" (Pharrell Williams cover)

      Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays

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