Lending hands for the bands

Emma Childs
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"Everything kicks off this week," said Jennifer Evans with a trace of excitement in her voice.
For the past few months, Evans has acted as co-chairwoman of the local organizing committee for the East Coast Music Week (ECMW), alongside Pat Deighan, garnering sponsorship and community engagement for the event happening this week in Charlottetown.
In late 2013, Deighan and Evans were elected by the East Coast Music Association to act as the co-chairs of the local organizing committee for ECMW in Charlottetown.

"They wanted somebody on the ground that knew the music scene and knew everyone," explained Deighan. "They wanted someone who could act as an ambassador."

Both Evans and Deighan have an active role in the P.E.I. music scene, with Evans being the general manager of radio stations Hot 105.5 and Ocean 100, and Deighan being the owner of Back Alley Music in Charlottetown.

"I've been a huge fan of the ECMAs since day one," said Deighan, whose band was nominated for an ECMA in 2009.

As co-chairpersons, Evans and Deighan work in conjunction with a team of 425 registered volunteers.

"The volunteers are really the machine that keeps this running," said Andria Wilson, interim executive director of the ECMA. "The event absolutely could not happen without them."

Volunteers for ECMW have roles ranging from transportation and first aid to box office and registration, to photography and social media.

"Every time you go to one of our events you'll be running into these volunteers," assured Wilson.

Amber Bishop is one such volunteer who will be taking time off of work to act as the venue manager at Hunter's Alehouse and the Delta after party.

"I'm there for about 12 hours a day," she said.

As a student in Holland College's event management course, Bishop is required to volunteer as part of her degree, but is excited nonetheless.

"I'm very interested in the music industry," she said. "So this will be great."

Bishop said she has a history of doing volunteer work with other events but is excited to be involved with ECMW.

"What's interesting about Charlottetown is that we have quite a high retention rate of volunteers from previous years," said Evans.

"But it's great to see new faces. That's a whole new generation being exposed to the ECMAs."

Organizations: Holland College

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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