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Halifax and Japan come together this weekend at the Khyber

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Japan's earthquake and tsunami has been devastating, prompting many to reach out and help. Haligonian musicians and artists have responded by organizing fundraisers and raising awareness for the tragedy. This Saturday, April 9, the Khyber ICA hosts a fundraiser for Japan, which brings together the music community and Japanese citizens of Halifax in a thoughtful event. Sunday's event is a quieter affair at Lost & Found.

One of Saturday's organizers, Kathleen Prinsen, felt moved to help when she saw her co-workers' reactions to the news. "I work with mostly Japanese citizens, and had no words for anyone when I found out about the earthquake. I have some experience playing shows, so I approached my boss"---Masahiro Amemiya at B-Well Sushi on Quinpool---"and asked if he would help me to set this up. He and his wife connected me with friends in the Japanese Society and, together, we have been working to organize the benefit," says Prinsen. "I think being involved in this is a nice way to show support to friends and family that are really far away."

The fundraiser incorporates art, food and music; with paper cranes, clothing, flower arrangements from The Ikebana Shop and snacks from B-Well Sushi. DAVIDsTEA will be giving away samples of Japanese sencha downstairs from 6-9pm and Long Long Long, Robert Loveless and Bad Vibrations will perform upstairs afterwards.

Bad Vibrations' drummer, Meg Yoshida, has family in Japan and feels that performing on Saturday and organizing Sunday's fundraiser (with Laura Peek, Husband & Knife, Andrew Glencross, Chief Thundercloud, Robert Drisdelle and Sol) helps her feel more connected to loved ones who are far away. "As well as raising a bit of money, it's almost like a grieving process personally," says Yoshida, adding, "all my family and friends back home are quite far from the disaster area and are safe."

"It's a way for the musicians to do something positive by using our gifts," says bandmate Evan Cardwell. "There aren't a lot of opportunities to do good things and it's our chance to do it."


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