A year ago a dream was born in Montreal’s bustling music scene. The dream was one of art, of music and of charity. The medium was one beloved by music fans around the world: the band tee.
“We both love music, and we like wearing band t-shirts. That, combined with our appreciation for artwork, and our desire to help promote worthwhile causes, sort of all came together into this one unique idea,” Casey Cohen said about his joint effort with Matt Stotland to create the Yellowbird project.
The two Montrealers sell t-shirts designed by musicians and donate the profits to charity. They launched the project at the Osheaga festival, and in the following week sold enough t-shirts to raise $5,000 for charity. The artists decide themselves what charity will be the benefactor for their tee. That way “everybody wins” says Cohen, because the artists contribute to a case they care about.
It does indeed appear the Yellowbird project is a win-win situation for everyone involved. The project itself was made to help those musicians that willingly contribute their time and effort to create a design.
According to Cohen, deciding on what musicians to approach first was by no means an easy, nor random, process. “We put together a carefully selected list of our favorite artists,” he says. The task was one Cohen and Stotland took very seriously, as part of the project’s mandate is to raise the profile of some “tremendously underappreciated” artists.
“It makes me happy to know that now more people will go out and by their CDs,” Cohen says about the satisfaction he feels when selling one of these musicians’ t-shirts.
Some of the bands, like the howling Australian rockers, Wolfmother, have managed to raise their profile considerably on their own accord since they signed onto the Yellowbird project. Others, like Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, still remain largely out of the public eye.
So far eight designs are available for sale through the Yellowbird project’s website.
Stars is the only Montreal-based act that has contributed a design so far. Their light blue tee picture a lounging tiger listening to a vinyl, possibly winding down with their sweet tunes after a long day of hunting. The charity of Stars’ choice is the local women’s shelter Le Cha