By Sebastian Buzzalino
CALGARY — On April 15th of this year, Calgary suffered its deadliest act of mass murder when five young adults were stabbed to death at a party celebrating the end of the University of Calgary school year. To commemorate the lives of Zackariah Rathwell, Joshua Hunter, Lawrence Hong, Jordan Segura and Kaiti Perras, Zackariah and the Non-Profits was formed, a charitable organization designed to continue the legacy of the five friends. Following in the footsteps of Rathwell and Hunter’s band, Zackariah and the Prophets, the organization aims to raise money to promote the vitality of the local music and arts scene. Their first event, High Hopes, will take place Sept. 4 at the SAIT Jubilee Auditorium and will feature local art and music by Fox Who Slept the Day Away, the Ashley Hundred, Windigo and Jesse and the Dandelions.
BeatRoute: How did the idea of forming Zackariah and the Non-Profits get started?
Barry Mason (co-founder): When we first heard about our friends passing, we were broken. It was such a devastating blow. Fairly soon after everything happened, we decided that we wanted to throw a concert to commemorate everyone. Zackariah Rathwell and Josh Hunter were our band mates; we thought that they would want us to put on some musical event. So, we got all of our friends from the community that we had been immersed in and organized a show with the profits going to various scholarships and funds set up in all our friends’ honour.
BR: You originally had some problems securing a venue at the University of Calgary. What were some of the issues there? How did you get connected with the Government of Alberta and the Jubilee?
BM: Originally, we had submitted a large communications plan to the Student Union at U of C to describe exactly what our vision was for the event. At the time, it was seen as not viable for a successful charity event. I sent out a tweet asking why we would get denied and the news picked it up. The Government of Alberta and the Jubilee contacted us letting us know they had heard about the story and would like to help us out. It was really, really, surreal.
BR: High Hopes is named after a Zackariah and the Prophets song, off their EP. In what ways do you hope the Non-Profits carry their legacy during their event and into the future?
BM: Playing in ZATP for so long made us a lot of friends and acquaintances in the music scene in Calgary. Naturally, when this happened, everyone was shaken. I think that this event is all about being together and celebrating everyone’s lives. All the bands that are playing were close with Zack and Josh in some way and, by having all these acts play at the show, it should shape up to be an amazing night.
BR: What is one thing you hope to achieve at High Hopes for the event to be considered a success?
BM: The amount of support and love that people have shown is so amazing to us. We’re hoping to get as many people as possible to this event as ticket sales are going to directly go back to the community. The Jubilee is an amazing venue and we’re all honoured to be associated with them for this show. The fact that we have a venue that is as large and accommodating as the Jube is already a success.
High Hopes will take place on September 4th at the SAIT Jubilee Auditorium.AB, Alberta, Barry Mason, Brentwood stabbings, Fox Who Slept the Day Away, High Hopes concert, Jesse and the Dandelions, Jordan Segura, Joshua Hunter, Kaiti Perras, Lawrence Hong, Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, the Ashley Hundred, University of Calgary, Windigo, Zackariah and the Non-Profits, Zackariah and the Prophets, Zackariah Rathwell