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Arts & Culture · 01:30


  • By Lee Fraser · Canada, Americas



Main aim of the charity

The aim of PH8 is to provide a warm and friendly environment for people to discover and support independent musicians, and to provide musicians with the opportunity to pursue their passion and present their art to an appreciative audience. Artists such as independent musicians are a cornerstone to the arts & culture of our society.

How the employee got involved and why

I have always been very passionate about supporting independent musicians and supporting live music. When I moved to downtown Toronto in 2008, I became even more involved in the independent music industry because I live near several live music venues. I got to know many independent musicians and got to know how difficult it is to be true to your passion and continue pursuing what you love while still being able to pay rent and support yourself and your family.

What work does the employee do for charity?

After trying and failing to influence friends and family to attend shows in live music venues, I decided to host the bands that I love in my own living room. Friends and family were happy to attend a house concert in familiar surroundings. Our friends and family would ask to bring their friends, and soon word of mouth started to develop a solid base of regular attendees. To get even more people to attend, I created a Facebook page, started an email list and called my house concert series “PH8”, the unit number of my condominium. Before long, the increase in fans and followers translated into an audience size of 30 to 40 people at any given event. The total number of fans of who follow the PH8 Facebook page has climbed to more than 350 people! Even better than that, the bands who have played at PH8 have seen their audience grow. People who first saw an artist at PH8 have become die-hard fans and see them wherever they may be playing around the city. This is the power of PH8!

What impact would winning have on the charity?

So many wonderful musicians have part-time jobs or tutor students in order to make ends meet. While PH8 helps them build their audience and progress their artistic careers, the life of a musician typically does not include insurance or benefits. The impact of winning would be the ability to support independent musicians even more than I am able to do now. A non-profit organization here in Toronto, Unison Benevolent Fund (unisonfund.ca), provides financial assistance in times of hardship, as well as counselling and health solutions to musicians. Should I be declared a winner, I would donate 100% of the winnings to Unison Benevolent Fund. Through the Fund, many musicians would benefit from receiving financial assistance that many of us with “corporate” careers take for granted.

What impact would winning have on the employee?

Knowing that I work for a company that would contribute funds to support musicians, which allows those musicians to pursue their passion, which in turn fills the hearts of all of us, would make me so proud. I would be proud of DHL for supporting what I feel is a very important part of society. I would be proud of having the ability to make a difference in so many people’s lives. If I were to be declared a winner, I would feel empowered to challenge myself even more and find more ways to support independent musicians.

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