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Laurier marking World Suicide Prevention Day with concert

by pmnationtalk on September 7, 2017178 Views

September 06, 2017

Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University will join communities across Canada in a free, sunrise-to-sunset concert in recognition of the 15th annual World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Mysterious Barricades is a cross-Canada concert for suicide awareness, prevention and hope. Fifteen cities will participate in the second annual concert, which will be live streamed at mysteriousbarricades.org. Laurier’s concert, titled The Sounds of Silence, will run from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Maureen Forester Recital Hall.

“We are honoured at Laurier to once again be part of this country-wide, coast-to-coast concert event,” said lead organizer Kimberly Barber, an associate professor and associate dean (external) at Laurier’s Faculty of Music.

“It is doubly fitting that, given Laurier’s Community Music program, music plays such an important role in healing and community outreach through this event. We give voice to thoughts and feelings that have long remained silent in our society through our music, helping those who struggle with mental illness and thoughts of suicide feel that they are not alone, and offering comfort and hope.”

Laurier’s concert will include performances by several Indigenous artists: Rene Meshake (flute and spoken word), Mino Ode Kwewak N’Gamowak (The Goodhearted Women Singers), Ashley Hynd (spoken word) and Liam Gordon(piano), the last two of whom are Laurier students. These performers will draw special attention to Indigenous suicide rates.

Other performers include Barber, Kathryn Ladano, Glenn Marais, Tanis MacDonald, the Penderecki String Quartet, Samantha Pickett, Anna Ronai and Heather Taves.

In addition to the concert, the day will feature a mental health resource fair in Laurier’s Theatre Auditorium, from noon to 4 p.m. Organizations participating in the fair include Skills for Safer Living, Delton Glebe Counselling Centre and Homewood Health, along with Laurier departments and clubs focused on improving wellness, preventing suicide, and reducing the stigma around mental health.

“When a person dies by suicide, whether locally or within our university community, we are impacted by the tremendous loss,” said Leanne Holland Brown, dean of students at Laurier’s Waterloo campus. “I’m proud to be part of a team at Laurier where the success and well-being of our students is a shared priority. This concert provides a meaningful way of talking about mental health and suicide, and the various supports and services available at Laurier and within the Kitchener-Waterloo community.”

Doors open at 1 p.m. and seating is first come, first served. Weekend parking is free at many campus lots.

The concert is timed so people can subsequently attend a Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) event at Kitchener’s Victoria Park, which will include a butterfly release at 4:30 p.m. For information about that event, contact the WRSPC.

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