Gaden Relief Projects

Helping Tibetans preserve their unique culture.

Fundraising Report


Punks for Monks Fundraising Concert
May 11, 2002

By Pamela Graham

Barbara Medland, a grade 11 student, had some extra time on her hands in January 2002. The teachers went out on strike for three weeks in Cochrane, Alberta, leaving students more time to engage in conversations on their favourite on-line chat sites. Barbara posted a message on a chat site to do with Tibet's on-going plight to gain political and cultural autonomy from China by peaceful means. None of her friends on calgarypunk.com seemed to know much about it, and she thought they ought to. So she decided to tap into her contacts in the music scene in Calgary, and put on a Tibet Awareness Concert.

Two major setbacks were overcome with will power and good fortune, and after months of planning the concert was held on May 11th, 2002, at the Calgary Mulitcultural Center. The hall was filled with posters, Tibetan prayer flags, punk music, and a wonderful crowd of young punkers who were earnestly mesmerized by the stories about Tibet. The volunteers were well taken care of, with home made pizzas and cheese cake made for them by Barbara.

Punks for Monks' great success lay in all the wonderful people who volunteered their time, talents and material. Just to give an idea of the variety of people who were involved directly or indirectly, these are just some of the people who stood up and supported Barbara in this venture:

Six punk bands:

  • One Shot Left
  • Guilt Trip
  • Honeyrocket
  • Midpoint
  • The Martyr Index
  • Crotch Rocket

Corey Tapp, member of One Shot Left who helped in many aspects of the whole project, and gave much encouragement and support to Barbara Brian and Paula Stanko who photocopied all the posters for the event at no charge, and who brought prayer flags and posters to decorate the hall, information from the Tibetan government in exile, friendship bracelets and T-shirts in support of the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet (that helps Tibetan victims of torture), and who collected signatures for the release of the Panchum Lama, and collected long lists of concert attendants who were willing to help with future Tibet awareness efforts.

Steve Coyn a grade 12 student in Calgary, and member of Amnesty International who helped to put up posters, put together an information brochure, and helped to run the concession the night of the event.

Randall Chappel a Cochrane sign maker who despite the $50.00 budget, made a huge sign for the event at no extra charge.

Sociall Skateboarding manufacturer in Cochrane donated a skateboard as a door prize for the event.

Vic Close a professional event promoter who helped to disseminate the posters.

Safeway and IGA who donated chips, donuts and drinks for the volunteers at the show.

In addition, many people helped out the night of the event, managing the door and the sound system, co-ordinating the bands, working the concession, and decorating etc. The media also supported the concert with two advanced articles in the local paper, and a radio interview on CBC. On the night of the event CTV covered the event for their evening news.

The event brought in close to $1800.00. After paying for the hall and sound system rental, and a few miscellaneous expenses, Barbara was able to raise $801.00 toward the Jamseng Health Centre in eastern Tibet, and $150.00 toward the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet.

Punks for Monks was very successful on many levels raising awareness of Tibet's plight in the open minds of concerned young people; raising money for two compelling humanitarian causes; uniting a local punk music community in a common altruistic cause; and providing so many individuals with the opportunity to feel empowered about giving, and how easy it is to make a difference.