UNICEF Queen's rounds off International Development Week

Boat Soup, Local Band, and MINT to raise money in charity concert

Boat Soup will perform at UNICEF Queen's charity concert on Feb. 9.
Supplied by Maggie Kirk

UNICEF Queen’s biannual charity concert is a chance to not only support children around the world, but to celebrate a job well done.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, Ale House will host UNICEF Queen’s charity concert to cap off Queen’s International Affairs Association’s (QIAA) International Development Week.

Social issues clubs across campus are combining efforts during this year’s International Development Week with featured film screenings, booths, workshops, and competitions. The concert is open to the public, and meant to highlight the work being done by clubs such as UNICEF, Queen’s Period, Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC), and Queen’s WE, among others.

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has helped save the lives of over 90 million children since 1990. Operating in over 190 countries, the association focuses on the safety, education, and equality of children around the world.

“As much as there's no child too far [to help], there's nobody too far that can’t help either,” UNICEF Queen’s Co-President Taylor Brand said in an interview with The Journal.

“What we're trying to do through UNICEF Queen’s [is] educate people and get people caring.”

This year, UNICEF Queen’s has placed a stronger emphasis on education as part of their mandate. They’ve prioritized sharing information among the Queen’s student body, as well as ensuring transparency for their own members to increase awareness of the specific issues UNICEF combats with their donations.

The most pressing issue currently being addressed is safety and care of children in areas affected by the novel Coronavirus. In the face of global crises, Brand highlights the importance of humanizing issues to engage students.

“[Saying] there are children in this area of the world suffering from this because of a lack of x, y, and z is the kind of education that makes people care,” she said.

Co-President Maggie Kirk noted the relevance of awareness in light of recent events on campus.

“I think people can be a bit ignorant to the actual root causes of some of the issues that are going on in the world, just like with the Coronavirus party that happened [...] That was kind of an eye-opener to me to see, okay, not everyone's on my side. But I think that it just means that we have to work harder to change the way that people look at these issues.”

The club’s concert series is one of UNICEF Queen’s largest events. Originally held annually, this year, the club has expanded the series to host an additional concert this winter.

This semester’s concert will open with a return performance from guitar duo Boat Soup, known for their intimate and friendly stage presence. The pair played last semester’s UNICEF charity concert.

“You felt like you're like jamming out in someone's living room,” Kirk said.

Boat Soup will be joined by fellow returning performers Local Band, a student rock group, followed by a set from MINT, a newly-formed funk group on campus.

All funds from the concert will go directly to UNICEF Canada to support global initiatives. In the past, UNICEF Queen’s has raised approximately $14,000 from their fundraising efforts, and they project similar numbers again for the 2019-2020 school year.

“I honestly just want people to feel like they’ve come out to something that means more,” Brand said. “[At Queen’s,] we’re all getting an amazing education, eating great food in our student house, having fun with our friends. It’s a huge culture shock just to realize a lot of people in the world don’t even have anything close to this.”

As one of the largest fundraising events the club puts on, this year they want to open the floor to celebrate the many other clubs that participated in International Development Week.

“Even if we can put in that small amount, even if one thing I do in the year in this club helps somebody somewhere, that’s what gets me, and that’s why I’ve stuck with it.”



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