Bankers turned rockers help Calgary kids with disabilities

WATCH: Taking the stage in a battle of the bands can bring out some pretty spirited competition among the performers. Gil Tucker reports.

Belting out an up-tempo pop tune, they look right at home on the rehearsal stage. But the two veteran musicians are also used to much quieter conditions.

“I’ve been in the banking business for almost 40 years now,” bassist Norm Christiensen said.

Guitarist Terry Eisthen is in a similar situation.

“I’m a daytime banker and a nighttime rocker,” he said.

READ MORE: Calgary kids with disabilities enjoy ‘Go Baby Go’ program

They’re members of a Calgary band called Contraband, now practicing for the upcoming “Rock for Dimes” battle of the bands.

It’s a fundraising event for the “March of Dimes” charity organization, which helps children with disabilities.

The organization’s Rachel Salsman is grateful that bands like Contraband are lending a hand.

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“It means everything to us,” Salsman said, “because without people fundraising and helping us we won’t be able to offer the programs that we do. And every day I get to see what the children can actually achieve.”

Contraband has also played at other charity events, for the MS Society, The Alberta Children’s Hospital and a women’s shelter.

The band was crowned champions at last year’s “Rock for Dimes” battle of the bands, in their very first performance together.

They’re now eager to defend their title when they take the stage at the event on Saturday, Feb. 3 at The Palace Theatre in downtown Calgary.

“This one is really special to us,” Eisthen said. “This is about helping children. We get to combine two of our passions: helping others and performing together.”

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