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Rebels with a cause

by The Concordian November 1, 2011
Rebels with a cause

Arts events around town are W?SB!’s method of choice in raising consciousness for causes they promote.

The simple phrase of “Why? Simply because!” (W?SB!) serves as inspiration and a voice of reason in an attempt to inspire curiosity and motivate youth to start asking questions and search for answers.
The organization, often known simply as W?SB!, puts on events geared towards young people in order to raise money for different causes, pushing stuffiness to the side and amping it up on the fun and innovation factors. This includes their Dreamcatcher events, as well as the flash mob they started at this year’s Just for Laughs Festival.
One of the founders, Marc Coppola, a 23-year-old graduate student in marketing and entrepreneurship at McGill, said the idea of creating W?SB! popped up unexpectedly. Coppola and co-founder Jeremy (Germ) Dee, also 23, have been buddies since high school. Coppola came up with the idea of W?SB! one day after finishing a relaxing meditation session with Dee.
“I thought of the idea of creating re-reverse engineering marketing, so instead of mass marketing, why not marketing to the masses?” Coppola said.
W?SB! began by creating Dreamcatcher, “an event that allows artists who are unknown yet talented to have a big stage and create a big crowd while performing at the Rialto Theatre and create a fan base through us,” said Coppola.
What did the event consist of? There was stand-up comedy, tattoo art, jugglers, magic shows, improv, interpretive dance, indie rock singers, hip hop, and more. They even served tasty appetizers.
Amazingly, all of this is provided for free, since W?SB! is a non-profit organization. Dee and Coppola get the money to host these events thanks to sponsors that look to promote their product.
Together, Dee and Coppola make quite a team. Coppola is driven and articulate, while Dee is the M.C. of the events, full of energy, and he occasionally paints his face for Dreamcatcher.
“My number one goal is to build a community of people, because it is hard to achieve success alone and we can come together through support in events,” said Coppola.
The next step for Coppola and Dee is to allow people to blog, write articles or videoblog through the W?SB! website. Also, if someone wanted to start a charity event, Coppola and Dee would put the cause on the website and then plan a Dreamcatcher event to help the charity idea gain popularity, funding and become a reality.
“This way we can raise money for it. It is still fun for the audience, and it allows us to grow,” said Coppola.
According to the W?SB! website, they live by their morals.“If we don’t believe in your cause or we feel you want to hire us to do work that we feel might be unsuccessful for you, we just won’t do it nor will we take your money to do something we feel won’t truly benefit you,” said Coppola. “We stand for what we believe, not struggle to support what we don’t. You are not a client in our eyes; you are a fellow friend we are looking to support, not to bill.”
The inspiration to start W?SB! came from a similar moral standpoint.
“The world is full of greed, we are lacking a sense of community, and it is easy to share the resources we have available to us if we all come together. I am trying to build a group, not run by me, but by the people, the youth,” Coppola said. “Ultimately I am building a community that I would like to live in.”
W?SB! has been veering towards being more active in following economic and political imbalance in Canada, driven by the idea that the future is in the hands of the youth.
Recently, W?SB! interviewed famed environmental activist David Suzuki at Occupy Montreal when Suzuki passionately spoke up about the same worry of world greed that Coppola mentioned.
“What about people? What about the jobs and opportunities for young people?” said Suzuki. “This is about the future for these young people that is being sacrificed for the sake of the corporate agenda right now.”
Even after putting on such events, W?SB! is just getting started. Coppola assured that they only plan on getting bigger and better because, as he put it, “the winds of change are blowing.”

To keep up with Why? Simply Because, check them out on Facebook, or go to their website, currently under construction, at www.whysimplybecause.com.

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