By Will Yannacoulias
October 30th will mark the tenth year the Black Cat Tavern has hosted the Halloween For Humanity fundraiser for Saskatoon’s Prairie Harm Reduction. Instead of conventional ghost and ghoul getups, each year local punk and hardcore bands “dress up” as their favourite classic artists and perform tribute sets. NSMZ spoke to Ryan Repper, who organizes the Halloween For Humanity show, as well as Derek Kuchirka of Me The Guts who is performing a tribute set.
Ryan Repper, who introduces himself as The Black Car Tavern’s Bingo Caller & Head Taste Tester, has long been involved in the H4H show, explaining that “we’ve been doing Halloween for Humanity shows since back in 2011 when the bar was called Vangelis. It’s a Halloween show, so we have local bands, playing as other bands. It’s always been a charity show, and PHR is an organization that needs all the support it can get so all the proceeds go to them.” Prairie Harm Reduction, who provide resources and support in a compassionate way to those affected by HIV and Hepatitis C as well as those at risk, has been a cause supported by many in the Saskatoon music scene over the years. “I think a lot of folks in the music scene have either been directly affected by, or at least know someone who’s been affected by addictions.” Repper shared. “The Sask. Government has failed to step up, so it’s important for the community to do what we can to fund places like PHR.”
Derek Kuchirka of Saskatoon’s Me The Guts, who will appear as 90’s hardcore band DROPDEAD alongside members of Rehashed, admires the work PHR does in the community and is proud to be able to support the organization. “Prairie Harm Reduction has a goal to provide the best quality of life for all members of our community through the highest standards of harm reduction” Kuchirka shared. “They opened the first safe consumption site in Saskatchewan. All proceeds from the show go directly to PHR, it’s a good cause and every year the shows have really great turnouts.”
More information about the Halloween 4 Humanity lineup is available on the Black Cat Tavern Facebook page.
For more information on Prairie Harm Reduction, visit them on the web at https://prairiehr.ca