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Nickelback, Corb Lund, Ian Tyson line up to play Fire Aid for Fort McMurray

‘Alberta is home for us and we’ve never shied from that. When tragedy strikes at home, you help’

By Mack Lamoureux, CBC News Posted: May 26, 2016 11:48 AM MT Last Updated: May 26, 2016 4:00 PM MT

packers-lions-footballSome prominent Canadian musicians are banding together to take on the fire known as “the beast.” 

Alberta icons Ian Tyson and Corb Lund will be there, as well as the love-them-or-hate-them rockers hailing from Hanna, Alta., Nickelback.

Joining them will be Blue Rodeo, Randy Bachman, Alan Doyle, the Rankin Family, Dean Brody, Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Dear Rouge, and High Valley.

All will be taking the stage for the Fort McMurray benefit concert known as Fire Aid taking place at Commonwealth Stadium on June 29. 

“From the stage and from the seats, our voices will unite in song and our friends in Fort Mac will hear us loud and clear and know that they’re not alone as they begin to rebuild,” reads the Fire Aid Concert website.

The concert has an air of similarity to the 2013 flood concert for Calgary when 33,000 people packed McMahon stadium. Harvey Cohen, with Live Nation, was an organizer for both the flood relief show and now Fire Aid.

He said he didn’t have to twist any arms to play the show.

“We had bands reaching out to us before our first meetings,” Cohen said.

“They said, ‘Hey, are you planning on doing anything?  We know you did a big flood concert in 2013. Are you planning something for this?’ So we got right to it.”

‘Alberta is home for us’

Alberta’s own Nickelback made it clear that they didn’t hesitate at all in their decision to play the show.

“The devastation, images and stories of the lives shattered by this resonate with everyone; but, perhaps none more so than Albertans,” said the band’s rhythm guitarist Ryan Peake.

“Alberta is home for us and we’ve never shied from that.

Brett Kissell, from Flat Lake Alta., will also be taking the stage on June 29th at Commonwealth Stadium.

“When tragedy strikes at home, you help.  It’s the least we could do and we are humbled to be a part of this event with so many talented artists.”

Tickets go on sale on May 30 and range from $35 to $99.

All funds will go directly into the community through the Fort McMurray United Way.

Diane Shannon, executive director of the Fort McMurray United Way, said that the relief efforts have been “extraordinarily impressive.”

Shannon recognizes that the need will be great when people begin to re-enter the community next week. She said they are going to have to “play it by ear” when they get back to the city.

“We really all have to go home. We only have our imaginations to help us understand what we will be facing,” Shannon said.

“We don’t know when we open the doors to our homes or to our work what we will be faced with.”

Announced artists:

Nickelback, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Dean Brody, The Rankin Family, Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Randy Bachman with The Sadies, Ian Tyson, Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies, Dear Rouge, and High Valley