Haiti relief event held at Maxwell’s

Maxwell’s Music House drew in a large crowd on Tuesday night when their weekly open mic night transformed into a benefit for Haiti. Two Laurier alumni, Sarah Sheridan and owner of the music club Paul Maxwell, worked together to organize the event.

“He has the business and I had the idea to just come and get a bunch of people together, not only to enjoy the music and enjoy the company, but why not save yourself a drink and instead use that money to put towards a good cause,” said Sheridan.

The money raised will be donated to World Vision, where donations collected before Feb. 12 will then be doubled by the Canadian government.

The organization is working in Haiti to provide clean water supplies, to send volunteers to provide aid and to build safe havens for children.

The event was run in the same way as the open mic nights held there every Tuesday, where artists can sign up to perform, and are given time to perform about three songs.

For this event, a cover charge was not applied; instead a “pay what you can” system was encouraged.

Containers were placed onstage and passed through the crowd of spectators so that anyone in the audience could give whatever donation they wanted.

“I’ve done events in the past and usually it’s a cover, just to make sure everyone has paid a standard fee, but really in this case it doesn’t matter if you are a student and can only give a couple of bucks or if you can give a hundred,” said Sheridan.

Artists geared their music towards the mood of the event; Katelyn Bearinger, Victoria Nickel and Katrina Teichroeb chose songs to perform such as David Barns’ “10,000 Children.”

“[The benefit] was part of the reason we came. We picked our songs for it,” said vocalist Teichroeb.

“[10,000 Children]’ talked about how we have so much here and that there are a lot of people that don’t, especially in Haiti right now.”

Turnout for the benefit was impressive, as community members gathered to play their music and share their support and donations for the relief work being done in Haiti.

Sheridan explains that a normal Tuesday night usually draws in about 50 people by 10:30 p.m.

Last night, however, saw a relatively full crowd gathered by only 9:15 p.m.