Born from Brentwood tragedy, program hopes to support musical talent
WATCH ABOVE: A one of a kind organization, launched in the memory of two band members murdered in a Calgary stabbing, is creating something positive out of tragedy. Jill Croteau reports.
CALGARY – An organization launched in the memory of the five young people killed in April 2014’s Brentwood stabbings is hoping to turn the tragic event into something positive.
Tucked away on the edge of an unpaved road is a sprawling acreage—a retreat for musicians to escape, create and compose.
The studios will become a place where budding musicians discover their own path. For Zackariah and the Prophets, that path was interrupted when bandmates Zackariah Rathwell and Josh Hunter lost their lives in a violent stabbing spree at a house party on April 15, 2014.
“The emotional fallout that people in Calgary have from what happened…it unified us as a city in tragedy,” said OCL Studios’ Dan Owen. “Do you stay in the dark or do you go to the light and honor the boys? That’s all I needed to buy in.”
The concept of the Prophets of Music society was inspired by Hunter’s father.
“I had to choose whether I was going to find something to do to help my healing or get dragged into it,” said Barclay Hunter.
“You do get dragged into it, but I thought there has to be something I can do to help my family.”
The not-for-profit society is designed to mentor aspiring artists and help provide a platform for yet-to-be-recognized talent. One of the surviving bandmates is one of the program’s first participants.
“Stevie Wonder, James Brown started somewhere—all the greats,” said former bandmate Barry Mason. “That’s how people grow best—standing on the shoulders of giants. You can go through that journey yourself, it’ll take a while, but if you go through it with others who’ve been there, it can springboard you.”
The program offers musical development and production as well as business skills like brand development and promotion.
“When you can draw from that many people, good things can happen,” said mentor Jory Kinjo. “I want young people to have opportunities that I didn’t have… and that’s a beautiful thing to come from a tragedy.”
For more information on the program, visit the website here.
With files from Erika Tucker
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