Ten Years of Keeping the Beat

by Erin Anderson, editor

Last Friday was no ordinary day. Keep the Beat, the annual fundraiser for War Child Canada, returned to SMUS for its 10th year.

The music marathon has become a well-known, much-anticipated event for many members of the SMUS community and its a massive undertaking for the Arts Council. Students record original songs, design and order merchandise, donate artwork to auction, organize a swath of musical acts and more. The goal for this year was to raise $10,000 to commemorate the important milestone (we’re still waiting to find out if we hit that mark), but the day was also a culmination of the efforts of students who have come through the school and built up the event through the years. Reading through the SMUS Review coverage of Keep the Beat for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, you can see how much it’s grown.

Keep the Beat also represents a long-term partnership between SMUS and War Child Canada. War Child representatives have visited us to teach students about the global politics surrounding the arms trade; When War Child founder Dr. Samantha Nutt visited the school this December, she spoke about how our school was one of the first to get involved in what has become one of the biggest fundraisers for her organization. Keep the Beat’s growth at SMUS also symbolizes our growing commitment to service and demonstrates the tremendous spirit our students bring to the school.

To a passerby, Keep the Beat may look like a big party or a venue for our student musicians to show off their talents, but its meaning and value go far beyond bright t-shirts and great tunes.

Video by Darin Steinkey and Mitch Cram

Photos from Keep the Beat are available in the photo gallery. You can hear some of the tracks from the Keep the Beat album on SMUSTube.

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