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Music at the Manse hosts concert to help victims of Charlottetown apartment fire

Grant Pye, the initial spark behind the fundraiser, waits for the rain to stop and the show to begin on Sunday.
Grant Pye, the initial spark behind the fundraiser, waits for the rain to stop and the show to begin on Sunday. - Michael Robar
MARSHFIELD, P.E.I. —

Grant Pye wasted no time.

On July 18, the day after a fire destroyed an apartment building on Harley Street in Charlottetown, Pye reached out to his friend and bandmate, Tim Archer, about putting on a benefit show for the victims.

Though he didn’t know anyone directly impacted by the fire at the time, the immensity of the loss is what drove him, especially when he found out they were all seniors, said Pye.

“I kind of put myself in their shoes, you know? Where would I be losing everything?”

Archer owns Music at the Manse with his husband, Ricky Lee, and they’ve been fixing the place up since October 2018. They both jumped at the chance to help, but putting on an outdoor show meant a lot of extra work for them, said Archer.

“But I thought we have to find a way to make this happen.” 

While they had almost finished the inside work on their concert venue, the backyard had become a bit of a junk pile, said Lee.

"All of a sudden, what we thought we had months to do, we had weeks."

Jake Cormier was up second, performing inside after a delayed start. - Michael Robar
Jake Cormier was up second, performing inside after a delayed start. - Michael Robar

 

So, they buckled down and, with some help, got things cleaned up and ready.

Hundreds of hours of work later, their backyard wasn’t quite done.

But it was ready for a show.

To help make it even more ready, the trio had help from some local businesses.

Island Coastal provided a flatbed trailer for a stage, Thompson Supplies covered outdoor washroom facilities and Long & McQuade Charlottetown loaned them all the sound equipment they would need to do an outdoor show right.

And it was all free, said Pye.

“(Long & McQuade) were instrumental in this. They’ve given us $17,000 worth of equipment to help out.”

Beyond this support, many other local businesses donated things for the silent auction, which featured 35 to 40 items.

And of course, all of the musical acts donated their time.

Jake Cormier, one of those acts, also helped Archer and Lee do some of the work to the manse.

When he heard about the show he wanted to be a part of it, to let victims of the fire know people care, he said.

“Music is medicine, too.”

If not medicine, the music at least brought people together to do something good.

Though the rain delayed the show, everyone still had smiles and laughs as things eventually began inside.

In addition to the silent auction, there were 50/50 draws and some light food and refreshments.

Tim Archer, shown in front of Music at the Manse, is undeterred by the rain. - Michael Robar
Tim Archer, shown in front of Music at the Manse, is undeterred by the rain. - Michael Robar


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