Brian Byrne ‘Will Work for Change’

Gary Kean
Published on October 25, 2013
Brian Byrne
Geraldine Brophy

CORNER BROOK — It started out as a way to help families with autistic kids, but the OCD Collective has found a cause that branches out even further.

The network of artists, founded by musician Brian Byrne of Steady Brook and his wife Tara, comes together for events that raise awareness of issues and hopefully provide funding for families in need.

Saturday night, a concert organized for Marble Mountain — titled “Will Work for Change” — will attempt to raise money for the Community Mental Health Initiative based in Corner Brook.

The mental health initiative deals with a wide range of mental health issues locally. For Byrne, that represents a chance to support a cause that impacts nearly everyone either directly or indirectly.

“If you think about the full spectrum of mental health issues, it ranges from mild anxiety to depression to post-traumatic stress to suicide,” said Byrne, who has made a name for himself in the music world as lead singer for I Mother Earth and as a solo artist in the last 15 years.

“You can’t look next to you without seeing someone who has been affected and it’s a big issue here (in the Corner Brook area) for sure.”

Byrne himself has been affected by suicide this year after the death of a friend and a member of his wife’s family.

In order to help mental health initiative and its efforts to address local mental health issues, Byrne needs the support of the community. He acknowledged advance ticket sales for the “Will Work for Change” show have been slow.

If he can get 700 people to go, Byrne said that would translate into a $5,000 cheque for the mental health group.

“All I want to do at the end of the night is write that cheque and say, ‘we did it,’” he said.

A successful show will also help give the OCD Collective campaign momentum to keep doing bigger and better things for more people in more places, said Byrne.

“It’s not just about the concert,” he said. “It’s about coming together and doing something. Everything that OCD Collective does has to give back.”

A sense of family has always been strong in Byrne’s character, but he said that has somehow been magnified lately. He wants to use his position in the music industry to leverage a way for those in need to benefit from the artists who have come aboard the collective’s efforts.

 “I don’t want to just do self-gratuitous, self-absorbed nonsense anymore,” said Byrne. “I want to be able to continue with these initiatives and I want to be able to do it again and again and again for different foundations and different families all over the world if it grows into that.”

Byrne will be take to the stage during “Will Work for Change” for an acoustic set with I Mother Earth guitarist Jag Tanna. Also on the bill are Sherman Downey, The Shining Wizards, DJ George Petit (of Alexisonfire) and The Soul Proprietor (Eon Sinclair from Bedouin Soundclash).

Luxury Limos will be providing a shuttle service all night long, starting at 7 p.m., with vehicles leaving from the White Horse Lounge, Whalen’s Gate and the Backlot.

The show starts at 8 p.m.