Concert fundraiser for victims of Nova Scotia massacre organized by Abbotsford Police officer

‘Artists for Nova Scotia’ to be streamed on May 8 with goal of raising $50,000

When Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson was killed in the line of duty in 2017, music was a way of healing for his friend and colleague, Const. Shane Dueck.

Now, Dueck hopes to help use music to alleviate the pain of the 22 Nova Scotian families who lost loved ones in Canada’s deadliest mass shooting on April 18 and 19. He has organized a concert fundraiser, “Artists for Nova Scotia,” which will be streamed through Instagram (@artistsfornovascotia) at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 8.

“I was one of the officers who took down John’s killer in 2017. I was good friends with John. We were on the same shift, we rode together a lot, we had a great connection,” Dueck said. “When I heard about this stuff coming out of Nova Scotia … it caused some significant triggers with me, reminding me of what we went through.

“We need to make this easier for those people over there.”

Among those killed was Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the RCMP, who was shot in a gunfight with the killer after he had ambushed a fellow RCMP officer.

“These seeds of destruction were felt within families, friends and communities across Canada, leaving us all in shock,” Dueck said. “We will never forget hearing over the radio broadcast, ‘Officer down!’ ”

Prior to joining the police force, Dueck was a musician. His former bandmate, Abbotsford artist Ryan McAllister, wrote a tribute song for Davidson after his death called “The Thin Blue Line” and played it at his memorial. The song will play on May 8.

Dueck has gathered several local musicians, including McAllister, and reached out to record labels across the country in hopes of adding bands with a larger audience to the lineup. He has set a goal of raising $50,000 through the GoFundMe page running parallel to the event.

Twenty-two songs will play at the concert – one for each victim – and all the proceeds will go directly to the grieving Nova Scotian families. The Abbotsford Police Department reached out to the Nova Scotia RCMP to let the families know about the fundraiser.

“We’re hoping most of it can be live, but it depends on what artists we get and where they’re situated,” Dueck said. “We’re hoping for two to three songs per artist.”

If any artist wishes to join the lineup, they can reach out through the Instagram account.

“For all of the families grieving in Nova Scotia, we want you to know that we are with you. We do not want this loss to go unnoticed in the midst of COVID-19,” Dueck said. “We can only imagine the grief you are feeling right now. Lean on us.”

Mourners, asked to wear red on Friday, are seen near a mural dedicated to slain Royal Canadian Mounted Police Const. Heidi Stevenson, during a province-wide, two-minutes of silence for the 22 victims of last weekend’s shooting rampage, in front of the RCMP detachment in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Friday, April 24, 2020. (Tim Krochak/The Canadian Press via AP)

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