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Festival helps build house

The organizers of a Rock Creek music festival that was cancelled due to a wildfire last summer have raised over $5,000 to help rebuild a family’s home that was lost to the blaze.

Kris Hargrave and Kia Zahrabi had hosted the Ponderosa Music Festival in Rock Creek in 2013 and 2015, but had to cancel at the last minute in 2015 due to the threat of a 4,400 hectare wildfire.

The Rock Creek Wildfire took off on Aug. 13 and grew rapidly through the tinder-dry forests, chasing campers from the Kettle River and eventually destroying 30 homes.

In November, Hargrave and Zahrabi threw a “Let’s Build a House” benefit concert in Vancouver to help give back to a community that means so much to them.

“Seeing the devastation from the wildfire really put things into perspective,” said Hargrave in a statement. “We knew that cancelling our festival was only one small part of a larger tragic situation. We wanted to support the families and the community somehow, and we knew that the people who attend Ponderosa would want to help too.”

The pair took over the Imperial in Vancouver on Nov. 14 to put on a Ponderosa-themed show featuring acts that have, or were set to play at the festival.

Seven bands rocked the stage as footage from the wildfire, and its aftermath, played on the screens behind them.

The money raised by the show will be donated to Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC and the Rock Creek/Westbridge Needs Committee.

These two organizations have chosen to put the money towards rebuilding the home of the Winn family, who lost their house in the blaze.

“It’s a family with four teenage boys who are living at home, and they lost everything this summer, and no insurance, so they’re living in a trailer on their neighbour’s place at the moment,” Hargrave said in November.

Construction of the new home is set to begin this spring. 

While the pair have yet to confirm if the festival will be making a comeback next summer, they said they are working extremely hard to make it happen, and have received plenty of support from fans.  

“What we do know is that if we can manage to pull all the pieces together, next summer’s festival in Rock Creek will be a magical event for fans from all over to enjoy and a great way to give the Rock Creek community an emotional and economic boost after experiencing such devastation,” they wrote in a statement. 

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