A Saskatoon-based record label is releasing a compilation of Saskatchewan music, with all of the proceeds being donated to The Lighthouse Supported Living and Prairie Harm Reduction.
Grey Records worked with many local musicians on Grey Matter 2, an album to be released on Feb. 2. Lenore Maier, one of the record label’s founders and a project leader for the album, says that all the 23 artists featured are local, making it into quite the community project.
“It’s a whole new set of work … coordinating 23 different artists, and that kind of thing is actually a lot of work. It can bring community together, especially if you tie a fundraiser to it,” Maier said.
Maier says that gathering the artists was just a matter of convincing some of their good friends to donate songs.
“Pretty much everybody we approached was really eager to contribute, which is really cool,” Maier said. “And lots of the songs are unreleased.”
For Maier, the album goes to show that music is still being produced in the province, despite the trying times.
“This is a way that we can celebrate local music because it is still happening, just not in the same way we are used to,” Maier said.
The proceeds from the album are being split in half and donated to Prairie Harm Reduction and The Lighthouse, two organizations in the city chosen by the founders of Grey Records, Maier and Duncan Pickard.
Justice Ausum, a member of the band Sunny Day Encore, says supporting the local organizations by being on this compilation album felt important to him.
“As someone who has previously struggled with addiction and being in-between places, just being able to contribute to something with the goal of helping Prairie Harm Reduction and the Lighthouse Supported Living is desperately important to myself,” he said.
Ausum says he has lots of respect towards the project and the organizations involved.
“The amazing humans at Grey Records recognize the absolute importance of these two programs in the community and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it,” Ausum said.
Maier says that the team chose the Lighthouse and PHR by looking at the community’s needs.
“We both agreed that those organizations were at the top of our list and are probably going to be for a very long time,” Maier said. “We’re doing everything we can within the community that we’re in.”
Maier describes the compilation as “an example of how people are changing and shifting and making new things in this weird time.”
“There’s a couple of new bands that have formed out of established bands that you definitely recognize, but might not recognize yet in this new iteration,” Maier said.
Grey Matter 2 brings the release of new music and a community fundraiser together into one project, which offers a lot to those who get involved and donate. Maier believes that, with everyone being somewhat disconnected from the community right now, a project offering the opportunity to help out others is what many people need.
“Financial support is one way that we can do the things we want to do as a label, but also be able to support these organizations as well,” Maier said. “It’s a cool way that we can do both at the same time.”
To pre-order the album, cassette tapes and posters, visit Grey Record’s Bandcamp page before the Feb. 2 release date.