Island talent raises funds in ‘Living Room’ concert on Friday

Originally printed in the Times Colonist on April 14, 2020.

Some of Vancouver Island’s top musical talent will be coming together — virtually, of course — to raise money for people in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Everyone can have a front row seat to Rock for Relief: A Living Room Concert for Vancouver Island, airing on Friday at 8 p.m. on CHEK in support of the Rapid Relief Fund and the Community Response Fund.

The event will feature performances by David Foster and Katharine McPhee, Randy and Tal Bachman, the Tenors, Trevor Guthrie and current American Idol contestant Lauren Spencer-Smith from Nanaimo, among others. The musicians will perform from their homes.

“You’re going to see a lot of great entertainment,” Foster said, adding: “We’re also going to ask you to donate.”

The fundraising effort is a joint initiative of CHEK, the Victoria Foundation and the Nanaimo Foundation. “If you can, please donate,” said Rob Germain, CHEK’s general manager. “If you’re not in a position to donate, we hope everyone just enjoys the show. And this, hopefully, will take your mind off some of the pressures and challenges that we’re all facing right now.”

Donors will be able to direct their funds to the Rapid Relief Fund, supporting Greater Victoria and the Cowichan Valley, or the Community Response Fund, supporting communities north of the Cowichan Valley.

The program will be hosted by Stacy Ross and Joe Perkins and will feature local musical favourites Jesse Roper, Carmanah, Aaron Pritchett and Kathryn Calder. Steve Nash, Silken Laumann, Jim Treliving and Rick Hansen will make special appearances.

Rock for Relief will be broadcast and live streamed without commercial interruption on CHEK (Shaw channel 6, Bluesky channel 109 and Telus Optik channel 121), and the CHEK News Facebook page and YouTube channel starting at 8 p.m. on Friday.

For more information on the Rapid Relief Fund, established by the Victoria Foundation, the Times Colonist and the Jawl Foundation, go to

For more on the Community Response Fund, created by the Nanaimo Foundation and the Tom Harris Community Foundation, go to