Tonight (Nov. 3), the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP) will be hosting a special fundraising concert in the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre in Ottawa.
The concert is in support of Kemptville residents and CAPP members who are fighting back against Premier Doug Ford’s government’s proposal to build a prison on Kemptville farmland and the unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinaabe Territory.
CBC Ottawa’s Adrian Harewood is hosting the event, while local country singer-songwriter Trevor Alguire is opening. The headliner will be Logan Staats, an award-winning Mohawk folk singer and, importantly, an advocate for Indigenous rights.
After being approached by CAPP, Logan said he was instantly on board.
“There were definitely elements of the show that were in line with my beliefs as an activist and as a Mohawk man,” he said. He admitted that although the prison was news to him, it was a cause that resonated deeply.
“Anytime an institution is being built on Indigenous lands – our stolen lands – there is a part of me that is irked. It’s the kind of emotion we face every day as Indigenous people,” Logan said
The building of the Kemptville prison has seen more opposition than progress since its 2020 proposal. In 2022, Kemptville residents submitted a judicial review application. They accused Ford’s government of bypassing permission from the municipality prior to the decision. The benefit concert will help to tackle the growing legal fees.
On Change.org, a petition to cancel the proposed construction of the prison has almost 2000 signatures.
For Logan, the concert is an opportunity to learn others’ perspectives as much as share his own, something he hopes to do through his music.
“I haven’t really had a chance to talk to anyone firsthand, so today will be the first time I’m able to do that and really sit and listen and learn,” he said. “So I’m excited to do that. And I’m excited to share my personal experiences and my perspectives from the stage.”
“I’m hoping that my music will be enough to show support for these folks,” he added. He admitted that the concert will be, “a little different than the average show.”
“I’ll be kicking down the door,” he said. “This is what I’m here for. I’m really excited to do that. We’ve been working on the set all week just to really make sure that it cuts through some of the noise and that people leave with something and hopefully some new perspective.”
Though Logan is new to the specific issue at hand, he knows how he wants to leave people feeling.
“I always want people to leave my show and not be afraid to go against the grain, the system and the state,” he said. “Now is the time where people need to stand up and work together and find some common ground to make some serious changes in the government that we have today.”
“I hope that today, this performance will help open up dialogue between First Nations people and our allies and help us figure out how we can move forward together and carry that burden of peace,” he added.
He urges anyone not at the show with questions or inspiration to reach out to him on social media.
Logan Staats & Trevor Alguire Concert Fundraiser to Stop Ford’s Prison starts at 7:30pm tonight, with ticket sales ending soon.
Tickets can be purchased here.