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When music builds houses

A little fire can’t bring these guys down.

After being forced to cancel their third annual Ponderosa Music Festival in August due to the 4,543-hectare Rock Creek wildfire, Kris Hargrave and Kia Zahrabi are throwing a benefit concert to raise money to replace a lost house in Rock Creek.

The benefit, titled ‘Let’s Build a House,’ will be held at The Imperial in Vancouver Nov. 14 and features a number of bands that have, or were, set to play at Ponderosa.

“When the fires were all happening, lots of people were emailing and calling us, and they really wanted to help Rock Creek somehow,” said Hargrave. “We knew right away that we’d have a lot of support and a lot of people that wanted to help, and they’re still looking for a show … we thought we could combine all the efforts and give people a show and do some good.”

The pair has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity and the Rock Creek/Westbridge Needs Committee and hopes to raise $10,000 for the Winn family, one of 31 families who lost their homes in the fire.

Hargrave said the family was chosen by the Rock Creek/Westbridge Needs Committee.

“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.

The concert will include performers the Gay Nineties, Mark Mills, LIO, Andrew Judah and La Grooveolucion, Dirty Spells, and Kutapira.

“We’re trying to make the party Ponderosa-themed,” Hargrave said. “We’re going to make it like a mini festival.”

Hargrave said the bands are donating their time for the show or are playing at a reduced rate.

Along with music, there will a silent auction, an art show and merchandise booth. Tickets to the show are by donation and can be purchased online.

Hargrave, who now lives in Vancouver, grew up in Rock Creek.

“I know all the families and everyone in Rock Creek, and went to the 4-H Club and everything,” said Hargrave. “The community has always been first for us, because in Rock Creek, if they don’t like you, they run you out of town.”

Hargrave and Zahrabi held off cancelling the festival until they were sure they had to, only two days before it was set to kick off.

“We already had enough stress getting ready for Ponderosa, and then this all happened, and friends are there,” Hargrave said. “It’s kind of a helpless feeling just sitting here and wondering what we can do.”

Because of the late cancellation, Hargrave said they took quite a financial hit, which has put the future of the festival in jeopardy.

“Obviously, we want to push forward, the plan is still to go ahead, but we took a pretty good hit with it,” he said.  “It’s sort of an independent festival, and Kia and I, we organize and fund and everything, so we’re going to try.”

He said they are hoping to make a decision on whether or not to hold the festival next summer before the new year.

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