Montreal benefit concert and silent auction raises over $12,000 for Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund.
On Oct. 23, a benefit concert and silent auction for Gaza was held at La Sala Rossa. Montrealers gathered to raise money for the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF).
The benefit featured music, art, poetry, passion and grief. Poet Ehab Lotayef delivered a speech and recited poetry in Arabic and English. “Our wounds, our demolished homes, / our violated skies, our teary eyes […] / protect us from your false promises / your empty words / and your Peace initiatives,” he recited, unrushed and with poignancy. Tamara Filyavich of Independent Jewish Voices also delivered a speech.
The first performance of the evening, by Hip-Hop artist Blxck Cxsper, was vivid and hard-hitting yet easy to dance to. “Nobody will be free until we’re all free,” they said. “Don’t turn off the news please, don’t try to ignore what’s going on.”
Ons Ammouchi and Josh Greenberg opened their set with a moment of silence, setting the stage for a poignant performance. The audience remained hushed, transfixed by Ammouchi’s soulful voice and the gentle strum of Greenberg’s oud.
Montreal DJ 1-Speed Bike―also the drummer for Montreal-based Godspeed You! Black Emperor―created a distinct, mesmeric musical ambiance between sets and speeches. Also performing were Yoo Doo Right, Durex, pOKmon and Yenne Velt.
The silent auction featured items and services from dozens of Montreal artists, artisans, designers, music venues and other organizations. Left Wing Books had a stand representing a range of anti-racist, feminist and left-wing literature, with 20 percent of book sales designated to PCRF.
A donation of $20 per person was suggested. The show sold out at 300 people, with an additional 100 donations made after. A total of $12,000 was raised, not including donations made directly to PCRF at the door.