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Hamilton bar raises money for Truth and Reconciliation

On Sept. 30, Canada’s Day of Truth and Reconciliation, one underground Hamilton bar made an effort to spread the word. Red light spilled out from the cramped interior of the venue as the sound of tuning instruments, DJs playing rock music, and the chatter of excited patrons filled the air.

Doors, a metal and taco bar on the corner of Main and Hess Streets, held an event in honour of the victims of residential schools. Visitors were treated to local Indigenous bands and an outdoor marketplace.

“It offers an opportunity to Indigenous artists, especially locally,” Otahyoni Bomberry, owner of Otahyoni Trails Art, said. “It’s good to make money, but it’s also good to raise funds for causes like to help survivors heal and move on from what happened to them in those institutions.”

Other artists, including Sweetgrass Sisters and Kahsenniyostha Designs, were selling everything from handmade jewelry to vintage cassettes.

The event raised more than $2,500 for Every Child Matters.

Seven bands played on the night for a $20 admission fee, including local metal artists System System, Desiccate, Internet Age and Decomposeur. Indigenous DJs Spiritwalker and Broken Mohawk also performed. All the proceeds for the night were donated to Every Child Matters.

Attendees agreed on the importance of donations and actions over words.

“The biggest thing is putting actions into your words,” one visitor, going by the name of Nim, said. “Reflecting and putting money towards actions and also seeing what issues are still happening and figuring out ways to support the community.”

The bands played on the second level of the bar to a crowd of punk, goth and metal fans. Black and orange were the prevailing colours for the event, with the orange representing the Indigenous children who underwent forced assimilation in residential schools.

The bar raised nearly $2,500 for Every Child Matters.

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