Therapeutic powers of song inspire fundraiser

One Day Benefit Concert

When: Sept. 6, 9 p.m.

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Where: Tally-Ho Sports Bar & Grill

Tickets: $10 (net proceeds support Victoria’s special needs community), available at Tally-Ho and Classic Guitars


The song had a rhythm like a heartbeat.

That’s why Chris Trigg chose Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to help his stepdaughter, whom he calls “Bear,” learn to speak.

Bear (Trigg wishes to protect her identity as a vulnerable person) was born with a genetic condition that means her development has been delayed and she has difficulty expressing her thoughts.

“She has a genetic rearrangement that is so rare that she’s the only person in the world we know of who has it,” Trigg said.

Given music’s role in Bear’s development — and her love of rock ’n’roll — putting on a concert to raise funds for Victoria residents with special needs only makes sense. Trigg, who formed Dr. Strangelove (The Roxy’s former house band in Vancouver) has invited his musician friends and acquaintances to Victoria to play at the benefit concert on Sept. 6.

All proceeds will go toward One Day, a social event in Victoria for people with special needs.

Trigg, whom Bear calls “Song,” said the response from the music community has been overwhelming.

“I’m getting calls from people I can’t name, asking to be part of it. It warms the heart. These folks are among the very best and it is an honour to have the chance to share the stage with them,” he said.

Among those slated to perform are Jeff Neill (Streetheart), JADE, Allegra Bonifacio, Saffron Henderson (The Ticket/Dr. Strangelove), Mick Dalla Vee and Brent Knudsen (BTO/Cease and Desist), Dave Reimer (Barney Bentall/Bryan Adams), Rick Fedyk (Paul Rodgers Band), Victor Wells (The Variables/Hummingbird Deluxe), Andy Graffiti (Hummingbird Deluxe/Deb Rhymer Band), Rob Young (Jade/Inglewood) and others.

The Roxy, Tom Lee Music, Classic Guitars on Fort and Guitars Plus provided equipment and technical support, while Tally Ho donated the venue.

Of course, Hallelujah is on the set list.

“Hallelujah is her absolute favourite,” he said.

Trigg is now separated from Bear’s mother, whom he says “did the hard stuff,” when it came to caring for Bear.

“She deserves a medal at the least, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

But he still spends time with Bear, 21, several times per week.

He has known Bear since she was four and she gave him unconditional love at a time when he said he wasn’t being “a particularly good human being,” forcing him to think beyond himself.

“If you’ve never experienced [unconditional love] before and then it comes into your life, it’s the most remarkable, life-changing thing that you’ve ever had,” he said.

“She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life. When I say that I genuinely mean it. She, absolutely, is the joy of my existence.”

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