Luke Rachwalski was an accomplished musician, poet and beautiful soul. He received much of his musical training first from a number of talented musical teachers in Victoria and eventually via his collaborations with other musicians. He developed a distinctive musical niche broadly inspired by jazz, rock, blues, and funk.
Luke played several instruments, including electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, mandolin and keyboards. He was a prolific composer and poet, and had a truly unique musical gift that he hungered to translate into music and lyrics to share with the world.
As a member of the burgeoning youth musical scene in southern Vancouver Island, at the age of sixteen (2007) Luke began performing with a series of Victoria-based bands that he helped co-found, including: Sir Loin and the Barons of Beef; Criss Cross and the River Band; and Canvas. After struggling for several years to solidify his musical aspirations in Victoria, in the Fall of 2013 Luke and his “Canvas” bandmates converted an old school bus for a cross Canada journey to Montreal, the mecca for aspiring musicians. Canvas had been in Montreal only a few months when an apartment fire took Luke’s life on January 10, 2014 – he was just 22.
Luke lived every day with passion and cared most about family, music and his community of friends. He was a loving, giving person and a free spirit who believed strongly in social justice and the value of authentic connections.
Securing suitable and affordable facilities in Greater Victoria to practice, record and perform, particularly studio recording space was an ongoing challenge for Luke and his musical contemporaries. The lack of performance venues for musicians is a continuing barrier to developing local musical talent in Victoria, particularly for under-age youth. The cost of musical training is often difficult for many young people who aspire to pursue music careers.
To honor his spirit and passion for music, Luke’s family has established the Luke Rachwalski Memorial Fund to support local young musicians.
Make a donation in support of the Luke Rachwalski Memorial Fund at the Victoria Foundation:
By phone: 250.381.5532 to make a donation by credit card directly via the Victoria Foundation.
By cheque: Send cheques to the Victoria Foundation at #109 – 645 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1G2.
Please ensure they are made out to The Victoria Foundation. Note the name of the fund in the memo line or in a cover letter.
Online: The Victoria Foundation’s mechanism for online donations is CanadaHelps. By allocating your gift to the Luke Rachwalski Memorial Fund on the drop down menu, you will support young musicians in Greater Victoria through local charities.
The steps to make an online gift in support of the Luke Rachwalski Memorial Fund are:
- Go to our web site: victoriafoundation.bc.ca
- Click on the Make a Donation button and then on the CanadaHelps link which will take you to our page on the CanadaHelps web site.
- Click to indicate whether you want to donate now or monthly and you will be taken through the steps to make your donation.
- In the section “Fund/Designation”, click on the “Donor Directed” drop down menu to select Luke Rachwalski Memorial Fund.
- You may pay with VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Interac or through a PayPal account.
After you pay for your gift, CanadaHelps.org will send an online tax deductible receipt to you.
There are several privacy permissions available: if you choose to include your name and address in the information which is sent to the Victoria Foundation, we will be pleased to let Luke’s family know that a contribution has been made to the Fund. We generally do not disclose the amount of the contribution; we only disclose the name and address of the donor for acknowledgement by the family.
If you have any questions about how to make a donation to the Victoria Foundation, please contact Sara Neely, Director of Philanthropic Services at 250.381.5532 or email@example.com.