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Montreal queers raise funds for Haiti

Haitian musician Sarah Bernard and Ethnoculture plan Jan 31 event at Club Lambi

QUEERS FOR HAITI. Ann nou Rebati Ayiti takes place at Club Lambi (4465 blvd. Saint-Laurent) on Sun, Jan 31. Doors open at 7:30pm, show at 8pm. Credit: courtesy of Sarah Bernard

Ethnoculture, Montreal’s queer organization for people of colour, is partnering with local musicians and performers to put on a benefit for the people of Haiti.

An nou Rebati Ayiti — Créole for Let’s Rebuild Haiti — was spearheaded by Haitian-born Montreal resident Sarah Bernard. The fundraiser will support two medical foundations: Partners in Health and Doctors without Borders.

Bernard says she chose the two organizations because of the health crisis currently taking place amidst rebuilding efforts, and because “even though the search and rescue operations have been called off, there is still a need for health care.”

Bernard, who moved to Montreal for college after growing up in Haiti, started mobilizing members of her community after hearing Haitian queers talk about their desire to support the disaster-struck city of Port-au-Prince.

“Two days after the earthquake, we started to talk about the event,” she says. “We really wanted to do this under a Haitian flag.”

Bernard, who studies creative writing and will perform at the event, first realized there was a need for manpower when she saw numerous calls for action on Twitter. (Follow Bernard @sarahbhaiti

Twitter, she says, has allowed her to put people in touch with each other, by getting information into “the hands of people that can take it even further.” Bernard still has many personal ties to the country, having recently returned from a visit in Haiti just weeks before the disaster. “I lived in Haiti all my life. I’m always representing Haiti!” she boasts. “I remember the day they called off the search and rescue, it broke my heart to see preventable deaths.”

An nou Rebati Ayiti is Montreal’s first queer benefit for Haiti. The event takes place at Club Lambi (4465 blvd. Saint-Laurent) on Sun, Jan 31. Doors open at 7:30pm, show at 8pm. Tickets are a $10 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Partners for the event include the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy, Arc-en-Ciel Afrique, Gay and Lesbian Asians of Montreal (GLAM), Coalition MultiMundo and QPIRG Concordia.

Featuring performances by: Sarah Bernard and Vanessa Dorvily, Broadway artist Morie Williams, indie-pop performer Courtney Wing, Star Académie finalist Rich Ly, Brazilian band Bombolessé, salsa dance company Dynamite Productions, Montreal-based punk band Mad June, comic Deanne Smith, drag artists Liberia and Friends and Ian Poker from The Dukes of Drag.