Banding against hunger 

Local artists unite for annual fundraiser to fight poverty at home and abroad

What: Bands Against Hunger fundraiser

When: Sunday, Dec. 21, doors at 8 p.m. & Monday, Dec. 22, doors at 9 p.m.

Where: Buffalo Bill’s

Tickets: $8

The term “starving artist” is bandied about a lot in North America, but a group of talented, creative local performers realize that there are people who really are in need throughout the world.

The Bands Against Hunger Society (BAHS), a registered non-profit organization, was created by a group of local musicians and music lovers about four years ago to unite the Whistler community to help make a difference here and overseas.

Kostas Lymbertos, better known locally as simply Kostaman, and vocalist/band manager, Jana Marie Dupuis, were inspired to create the charitable society after witnessing images of child soldiers and children suffering after the tsunami in Indonesia.

“During that same week, we saw Born Into Brothels , the story of kids who are born into brothels of Calcutta, and at that point during the film, something clicked and it was the last straw,” Kostaman explained in an interview earlier this year.

They decided to take action, and BAHS was born.

Through artistic collaboration, the group creates events to raise funds and awareness for humanitarian issues, while allowing an opportunity and occasion for local musicians to collaborate and have a good time.

“It was created as a vehicle that local people can jump into and do some good community work and some global work, as well,” said Kostaman.

They hold two large events each year and collect donations from audience members at regular shows throughout the year.

The group is holding its fourth annual winter community fundraiser, a two-day event, on Sunday, Dec. 21 and Monday, Dec. 22, at Buffalo Bill’s, which features a wide range of local music. Artwork by Dave “Pepe” Petko and Alexai Villaseca is on display both evenings, and there is even a raffle.

Funds raised will be go towards three groups: a local charity that is most in need of financial assistance, the TOV Orphan Centre in Namibia, and Playground Builders.

TOV works to feed and educate children who are living in poverty or who have lost a parent, while Playground Builders construct playgrounds in war-torn areas of the Middle East.

On Sunday evening, the doors open at 8 p.m., with Whistler’s own DJ Phroh manning the decks, while Vancouver and Whistler-based Redeye Empire take to the stage to rock out for a serious live set that’s guaranteed to entertain the crowd. The following evening, doors open at 9 p.m., and Whistler’s own Mixmasterfab spins a set, while Pemberton and Whistler-based Fall of Summer, and the renowned Led Zeppelin cover band, Whole Lotta Led, take to the stage to rock out and close the party with style.

Tickets are $8 in advance at Buffalo Bill’s, Moguls and Evolution. BAHS is looking for volunteers and artisans from throughout the Sea to Sky region who are interested in donating their artwork for a silent auction. For more information, or to donate your time, contact bandsagainsthunger@hotmail.com .

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