Ottawa-based Bandzoogle, a musician website and direct-to-fan platform, is celebrating its 17th birthday this month.
But instead of keeping all the presents in-house, they want to help the Unison Benevolent Fund and musicians who are going through hard times with the loss of income and support due to the pandemic.
By working with Printful, a print-on-demand provider, Bandzoogle is offering limited-edition merch designed by Hamilton-based Jacqui Oakley, a Canadian illustrator whose work has been included in editorial pieces, advertising and book projects for the New York Times, Reebok, The Guardian, Rolling Stone and at least a dozen others.
The t-shirts, hoodies and other goodies are available here through March 31 and Bandzoogle will match donations up to $5,000 to benefit the Unison Fund’s Emergency Mental Health for the Music Community campaign.
Amanda Power, executive director of the Unison Fund, says there are more members of the music community looking to the fund for help these days. “Every dollar raised will directly allow us to provide a lifeline for Canadian music workers and their families,” she says.
“Every year we release a limited edition Bandzoogle t-shirt that’s available just for staff,” says the company’s CEO, Stacey Bedford. “Whenever we post about them, our members ask if they can buy one… There are a lot of musicians on our team. We’re always there to support each other, so this was a charity that was near and dear to our hearts.”
Bandzoogle has always prioritized artists’ needs, especially in industry-wide hard times. “There are a lot of musicians on our team. We’re always there to support each other,” says Bandzoogle CEO Stacey Bedford, “so this was a charity that was near and dear to our hearts.”
The new merch had an obvious inspiration for Oakley.
“In the front of my mind was how in isolation we’re all missing being close to our loved ones. So how better to illustrate that than a fiery pagan dance party,” she says. “Of course it was a chance to draw a skull engulfed in flames, but more importantly a chance to help raise money and awareness of the importance of mental health in this perilous time.”