Rising from the ashes

Father of Brentwood Five victim forms non-profit

Chris Stills performs during the Prophets of Music Gala at The Palace Theatre in Calgary on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. For the Weal's Prophets of Music story. (Photo by Quinten Hauck/SAIT)

Chris Stills performs during the Prophets of Music Gala at The Palace Theatre in Calgary on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. For the Weal’s Prophets of Music story. (Photo by Quinten Hauck/SAIT)

It’s not often that something so good comes out of something so tragic, but when Barclay Hunter lost his son Josh, within a matter of days that The Prophets of Music were born.

Joshua Hunter, 23, was stabbed to death nearly three years ago at a house party in the Northwest Calgary community of Brentwood along with four other young victims, Lawrence Hong, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell, and Jordan Segura.

The victims would come to be known as the Brentwood Five.

“I needed to do something to help me and to help our family find something positive.

“If there’s even a possibility for something good to come out of it,” said Barclay Hunter, Joshua Hunter’s father and executive director of The Prophets of Music non-profit organization.

Hunter asked himself what that “something” would look like.

Josh was the drummer in the local band Zackariah and The Prophets fronted by Rathwell. His father Barclay, a self-described hobby musician, said he and Josh shared a big connection over their love of making music, and the nature of the business.

“There’s a lot of things that don’t work in the music industry. Very few get to the point where they can actually sustain themselves,” said Hunter.

So, he started a program to help artists find what sets them apart to be successful.

The Prophets of Music supports projects such as the Boys and Girls Club that do good things through music and music education.

Their Emerging Artist Program supports artists by providing them with resources, mentorship and education in a full-spectrum way.

Not only are artists taught about music production and performance, but also about branding and fan engagement.

They are mentored by accountants and entertainment lawyers who provide them with information regarding contracts and royalty agreements.

Additional information is also given to them, including all the different grants and funding that are available to artists in Canada.

The first three bands and musicians to participate in the Emerging Artist Program are Brett McCrady, The Ashley Hundred and High Love (formally known as REND).

They were chosen from roughly 50 applicants, based on their performances as artists, and their intensiveness to determine their level of intention and seriousness.

Currently, the musicians are working on their social media campaigns, artwork and fan engagement strategies as their five-song EPs go on to their final mixing and mastering process at OCL studios. On April 29, at The Palace Theatre, their music will be showcased and celebrated.

Tickets are available at prophetsofmusic.org for $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.

Doors open at 8 p.m. with the concert starting at 9 p.m.

For those interested, The Prophets of Music will also begin accepting applications for The Emerging Artist Program 2017. Any donations can be made to the Prophets of Music Society Fund through thecalgaryfoundation.org.

Hunter said people will be surprised at the quality of music being produced by the program.

As for how the organization honours Josh’s memory, Hunter said that the people involved want to do good things.

“That’s the connection, that’s it. It doesn’t get any more complicated than that.”

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