Trading a Gun for a Guitar Benefit Concert

1024 732 Ann Mortifee


I am thrilled to join my sister Jane and the brilliant group of musicians she has brought together for a concert that will help change lives. The thought of children being forced to bear arms and commit unspeakable acts of violence is heartbreaking. Thankfully, people like Fazineh Keita and Ava Vaderstarren are doing their utmost to support former child soldiers as they come to terms with the past and try to transition into people of peace. If you are available to come to the concert, I believe that you will be wonderfully entertained and inspired. If you are unable to attend, please take a few minutes to visit the Innocence Lost Foundation website.
Love, Ann

Innocence Lost Foundation was founded by Fazineh Keita, a former child soldier in the Sierra Leone civil war, and Ava Vanderstarren, Miss British Columbia 2013. On October 23rd, 2016 there will be a benefit concert and silent auction at St. James Community Square in Vancouver to raise funds and awareness for this charity.

There are over 300,000 child soldiers in the world. Meet one.

fazinehFazineh Keita grew up in Sierra Leone during the country’s Civil War. At a young age, he was kidnapped by the rebel group, the RUF, and was forced to become a child soldier. He managed to escape and joined the Sierra Leone army to survive his early teenage years. As a former child soldier, Fazineh is using his experience to bring awareness to the realities of war and is a founder of Innocence Lost Foundation. After the war, he released his first musical album, Paddy Dem, which became a hit throughout the country and led to political change in the government. He moved to Canada, and graduated from Vancouver Film School in 2011. Through acting, writing and music, he is using his skills to tell important stories, educate youth, and to help people find healing through art.

ava-vanderstarrenAva Vanderstarren is an actress, model and public speaker. She won the title of Miss British Columbia 2013/14 with her platform being the rehabilitation of child soldiers. During that year Ava and Fazineh founded Innocence Lost Foundation and began working on their first project for Sierra Leone. They speak at schools around the lower mainland, educating students about child soldiers and fundraising for their project. Ava has a life-long goal of humanitarian work, and wants to make a difference by ending the use of child soldiers.

Innocence Lost Foundation’s Project

ilf-render-05-aInnocence Lost Foundation is currently fundraising to build a community centre in Kabala, Sierra Leone. This project will provide a medical clinic, clean water well, food, education, skills training, and art and sport therapy programs to former child solders. Their aim to is to bring healing and opportunities to the community.

The Performers – Featuring Jane Mortifee and Friends

janeJane Mortifee For over 40 years Jane has found expression as an actor in theatre, film and television, and as a singer she has released three CDs. For many years, she was Vancouver’s top V/O and jingle performer, and a busy session singer for many recording artists. She has performed with David Foster, Tom Jones, Paul Anka, John Denver, and Ray Charles, to name a few. Jane has “finished” her first novel, which is set in Africa, and is looking for a publisher while working on her second novel. Jane also leads yoga at various Creative Writing and Soul Collage retreats around the world. She has been nominated for three Jessie Awards, an Actra award, a Westcoast Music award and was inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2002.

Musical Director: Bill Sample

terryTerry Frewer: After many years making music in bright lights and smoky clubs with Spring, Paul Horn and Boy Wonder, Terry retreated into his studio to compose music for films and TV, and to feed the studio goldfish.

codyCody Karey: Cody started singing at 18 months old and has never looked back. He entered a David Foster talent competition, where he reached the finals, and began his eight year journey that ended up with the multi Grammy winning producer/song writer/record exec signing him to Verve records. During his eight year development period with Foster, Cody made countless on-stage appearances on some of the world’s biggest stages including Madison Square Gardens in New York, sharing the stage with world class artists. One of Hello! Canada’s 50 most Beautiful, Cody was also a finalist on the TV series MasterChef Canada. Cody’s voice is a true gift … powerful and igniting.

ann-mortifeeAnn Mortifee: A singer with a remarkable four-octave range, Ms. Mortifee is a Member of the Order of Canada, the highest honour bestowed on civilians by the Government of Canada. 
Her albums, concerts, musicals, scores (for ballet, opera, film and TV), and book, In Love with the Mystery, have generated numerous national and international distinctions and several awards. She is a compelling storyteller and keynote speaker at major conferences. Ann facilitates workshops on arts and consciousness, and has co-founded two foundations – one for social innovation and one for forestry conservation. She resides in British Columbia and is the wife of the late jazz flutist and father of new age music, Paul Horn.

marcus-mosely-the-sojourners-photo-by-david-gifford__1_Marcus Mosely and the Marcus Mosely Gospel Ensemble: Marcus Mosely sings with the award winning Roots Gospel trio, the Sojourners. He is the artistic director of the Marcus Mosely Chorale (along with Bill Sample/Music director and Darlene Ketchum/Choral director) which is just starting its 6th year. The Marcus Mosely Gospel Ensemble is an extension of the MMC created for events such as this one. Marcus will be inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame this year, and is very pleased at the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful event.

shariShari Ulrich: Two time Juno Award winner and member of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, Shari Ulrich celebrates 43 years as an active Canadian musician and songwriter. From the Pied Pumkin in 1973 through the Hometown Band and on to her solo career, Shari has consistently lent her voice in support of social change. Her latest release “Everywhere I Go” is her eighth solo album, and the 23rd of her career including her work with the Pied Pumkin, The Hometown Band, UHF, her trio BTU with Barney Bentall & Tom Taylor, and the bluegrass band The High Bar Gang, which garnered her the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Songwriter of the Year.

debbieInnocence Lost Foundation Anthem Composer and Singer Debbie Bergeron is a songwriter, recording artist, and producer with three CDs to date. All CDs have shared world exposure and have charted in Europe, Canada and the United States. Debbie has been nominated for four FEMALE VOCALIST of the Year, and has been honored to receive 13 nominations from Album of the Year, International Achievement, Most Promising Writer/Artist, New Artist on the Horizon and Entertainer of the Year. Debbie wrote a song entitled “When Innocence is Lost” as an anthem for Innocence Lost Foundation’s upcoming album.

Trading a Gun for a Guitar 
Sunday October 23, 2016 
St James Community Square 
3214 W 10th Ave. Vancouver, BC 
Tickets $30

Innocence Lost Foundation is hosting a large benefit concert and silent auction to raise funds for Phase 1 of the Kabala Community Centre. This project will provide education, skills training and therapy programs to former child soldiers. We hope you will join us for our second annual “Trading a Gun for a Guitar” event.
Silent Auction, Complimentary Refreshments, Cash Bar

Ann Mortifee

Singer Ann Mortifee is a genre unto herself. Blessed with a remarkable four-octave range and a gift for impacting hearts with her music and lyrics, her albums, concerts, full-length musicals, scores (ballet, film, opera, TV), and In Love with the Mystery book have generated national/international distinctions and awards. She is an Order of Canada Member, the country’s highest civilian honour. A world traveller, compelling storyteller, and sought-after keynote speaker for major conferences, Ann creates and facilitates inspiring arts and consciousness workshops and co-founded two foundations - for social innovation and for forestry conservation. Based in BC, Ann is the wife of the late jazz flutist, Paul Horn.

All stories by: Ann Mortifee