CainerFest continues the battle for better mental health services

By Devan Mighton – Originally published in Tecumseh Shoreline Week, LaSalle Post, and Lakeshore News on September 12, 2019.

Photo: Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold is performing on Saturday, September 14 at 10 p.m. at Rock Star Music Hall as part of the fifth annual CainerFest in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association -Windsor-Essex County Branch.  Photo courtesy of Mystery Man Photography.

 

(WINDSOR, ON) – For the past five years, local bands have gathered annually in the memory of Jordan Caine.

“Cainer” to his friends, Jordan committed suicide on August 13, 2014.

He was only 27.

Jordan was a talented musician, cook, baseball player, and artist.

He lived with many challenges that affected his mental health, such as manic depression and difficulty in accessing sufficient community support.

Jordan joined nearly 4,000 Canadians who take their own lives every year – an average of more than 10 per day.

But Jordan is not just a statistic.

He is an inspiration.

From September 13-15, fifth annual CainerFest will take place at the Rock Star Music Hall in Windsor to help raise awareness for mental health.

“We chose to have a music festival to honour Jordan Caine because music is what kept him feeling connected to his loved ones,” CainerFest organizer Andrea Milne explains.

“Music was a tool for healing and solace for him. His friends and family continue to heal through the loss through music at this festival as it brings them and the community together.”

‘Not all those who wander are lost’

Over the past four years, CainerFest has raised $40,000 in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Windsor-Essex County Branch and the CMHA bereavement program.

This year’s goal is to raise another $15,000 and its organizers hope to continue to help raise awareness of Ontario’s strained mental health services. Services that can sometimes be unobtainable to those in need.

The slogan of the event, ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ is a nod to the poem ‘All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter’ from J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings.

The slogan stands as a reminder that we must support the families of those lost to suicide.

In addition to the talented musical acts that will be on display, CainerFest will feature guest speakers, a 50/50 draw, local mental health resources, merchandise, as well as games and activities on family day.

One of the headlining acts at this year’s CainerFest will be London’s Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold.

“Promoting positive mental health and music as a powerful coping mechanism is something that is very important to me,” says lead singer and guitarist Rose Cora Perry.

“I not only promote these ideals through my own songwriting by discussing how I overcame my personal struggles but, further, I am the founding emcee of London’s Defeat Depression campaign as well as a psychology writer/guest speaker.”

Perry’s hard rock outfit also features Tyler Randall on drums and guest bassist Carmen North.

“I have personally witnessed far too much tragedy in my own life regarding mental illness and drug use; tragedy that could’ve been prevented,” says Perry.

“Not until recently has society treated mental illness as a debilitating health condition with far-reaching consequences.

“I would like to be part of the movement that brings forth change to create a more open and safe dialogue about mental health so that those who need help feel comfortable in coming forward, knowing that they’re not alone in their struggle and that their struggle is very real and should be taken seriously.”

She says that CainerFest felt like a perfect fit for her band and that they had also performed at last month’s StrummerFest in Kitchener-Waterloo, which also helped raise awareness for suicide prevention.

“Music is an extremely powerful coping mechanism and, further, a universal language through which we can all relate and connect,” Perry explains.

“In my own life, if it weren’t for being able to put pen to paper and express some of my darker moments, I wouldn’t still be here today.

“For musicians, the act of writing music is cathartic. For music lovers, the act of listening to music affirms that we are not alone and that there are others out there – just like us – that are going through the exact same thing.”

Rose Cora Perry & The Untold Truth have been touring North America extensively in the lead up to the September 23 release of their debut EP, The Other Side of the Story.

Their new release will feature four original songs as well as a “rock-i-fied” cover version of Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’.

Laval

Jordan’s former band, Laval, will be performing at the event in his honour.

“It’s not possible to pinpoint one specific thing, but I feel that this music festival is, most importantly, about carrying on the legacy of my best friend,” says Laval guitarist Dave Waters.

“Music was therapeutic to Jordan and can be therapeutic for others who struggle with mental illness.”

Along with Waters, Laval also consists of singer Miroslav Tomoski, drummer Adam Allen, and bassist Mitch Trevisol.

A Lakeshore-based progressive rock group, Laval specializes in covers of American prog-rock band Tool.

“We shared the same passion for music, which, in turn, created a strong connection between us,” says Waters.

CainerFest is about bringing mental awareness to the public and about fighting the stigma through music.

“Mental health issues are more common than what meets the eye.”

Waters looks forward to the sense of community that CainerFest has brought in recent years.

“It’s about music and the love for music,” he notes. “It’s for friends and families. It’s about hope.”

CainerFest has given me the opportunity to continue to do what we loved doing together and keep his memory alive.”

Part of the Plan

Windsor-based alternative metal band Part of the Plan will also be playing at the event.

CainerFest means a lot to us and our local scene,” says guitarist Bryan Santos.

“It brings our community together to help raise awareness and de-stigmatize something that often isn’t talked about or is looked down on.”

Along with Santos, Part of the Plan features Cody Weldon on vocals, Dan Woods on guitar, Kyle Mastronardi on bass, and Martin Shultz on drums.

“This will be our second year performing at the festival and we’re excited to play alongside our friends in local bands and meet new bands as well.”

Part of the Plan has three EPs to their credit, including 2016’s Find Your Place and The Art of Balance as well as 2018’s A Place Called Flying.

This year, they have released a new single, ‘What I Deserve’ and a metal cover of The Weeknd’s ‘The Hills’.

“Everyone has a great time playing and listening to live music, all the while supporting a great cause; raising money for suicide prevention and awareness and we think that’s incredible,” says Santos.

The fifth annual CainerFest is being held from September 13-15 at Rock Star Music Hall at 2418 Central Ave. in Windsor. Friday is Metal Day from 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday is Rock Day from 12-8 p.m.; Sunday is Family Day from 12-8 p.m.

For a full list of the bands and more information, please visit www.facebook.com/CainerFest/.

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