Country Artists Unite for Charity Version of Parachute Club's 35th Anniversary of Rise Up

By Jim Barber 9/8/18 |

Thirty-five years ago, the iconic Canadian pop song “Rise Up,” by Toronto’s The Parachute Club, has represented a sense of positivity, of inclusivity and perseverance. An updated version of the song has been recorded by 17 Canadian country music artists with proceeds from streams and downloads going to a number of charities selected by the song’s primary composer, Lorraine Segato.

The recipients are Institute for Change Leaders, Canadian Roots Youth Reconciliation Initiative, Ecojustice and Supporting Our Youth.

Rise Up Redux (35th Anniversary Edition)” was released by Warner Music Canada and performed by what has been called The Common Cause Collective (3XC) in partnership with Rise Up Share Your Power and Slaight Music. The 3XC group is comprised of Gord Bamford, Cold Creek Country, Leah Daniels, Tim Hicks, Brett Kissel, Jason McCoy, Meghan Patrick, Jessica Mitchell, Madeline Merlo, The Washboard Union, Rivertown Saints, Don Amero, Dan Davidson, Kira Isabella, Jess Moskaluke and Tebey.

“In remaking this song, we are honouring and celebrating another generation of social justice activists and encouraging and engaging youth who are shaping the future,” said Segato in a press statement. “The song first signalled a call for equality and empowerment in 1983. Today its message is as relevant as it was 35 years ago. We’re so excited to be able to debut it in Hamilton where I was born and where the song was first recorded.”

Rise Up Share Your Power “is a Canadian initiative that cultivates collaborative artistic activist projects designed to encourage youth leaders to work with established artists in collaboration,” said a press release. It added that “Rise Up Redux” is the first collaboration, intimating that there will be more to come.

Slaight Music’s mandate is “to support the Canadian music community through a variety of initiatives, and to develop Canadian talent via strategic partnerships with industry peers.” Namesake Gary Slaight and his family are also major philanthropists, regularly supporting music projects to hospitals.

Monies raised from “Rise Up Redux” will be distributed through The Toronto Fund.

Among the charities Segato has selected Canadian Roots Youth Reconciliation Initiative, “a community of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth committed to building honest and equitable relationships,” according to its website. They do this through a variety of programs including exchanges, reconciliation initiatives and educational conferences.

Another charity is the Institute for Change Leaders, founded in Toronto by long-time community activist and former elected official Olivia Chow, who, with “her team of 30+ trainers have taught community and political organizing to thousands of organizers since March of 2015,” it states on the web site. Its mission is “to ensure organizers are continually developing the skills they need to transform the resources they have into the change they want. The Institute does this by teaching organizing strategies and providing a platform for the growth of a network of organizers.”

Segato also chose the environmental justice organization Ecojustice, which works within the Canadian court system to protect wildlife and natural ecosystems.

“For more than 25 years, we’ve gone to court to protect wilderness and wildlife, challenge industrial projects, and keep harmful chemicals out of the air, water, and ecosystems we all depend on,” stated the organization’s mission statement.

Finally, Rise Up Redux will also aid the Supporting Our Youth (SOY) program, which “is an innovative community development program of Sherbourne Health Centre. SOY works to support the health and wellbeing of all queer and trans spectrum (LGBTQ) youth by running groups, programs and events and by providing one-on-one support for queer, trans and questioning youth who are 29 years old and under.”

Rise Up was a major hit single from the Parachute Club’s self-titled debut album, produced by Daniel Lanois. The band recorded four more studio albums into the early 1990s. They have reunited on a number of occasions over the years while Segato also pursued a successful solo career. The Parachute Club has not been active since 2014.

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