Supporter Spotlight: Guitar Auction Winner Brad

Thanks to the generosity of our artist partners and supporters like Brad, Make Music Matter brings together music lovers of all kinds to raise awareness and create opportunities for life-transforming experiences.

Through the Healing in Harmony auctions, Brad has won a pair of guitars signed by members of Rush as well as a paddle by musician and visual artist Tom Wilson. He shared a few words with us about his commitment to giving back and some of his musical favourites.

How did you hear about Make Music Matter’s Healing in Harmony auctions?

It’s a little bit of a winding road. It started with Grapes For Humanity, which both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have supported for some time. At some point I became aware of just how extensively the music industry and artists in particular supported causes that interested me. I remember thinking “Why don’t I know this!”

Actors and athletes seem to get a lot of press for their support. The recording industry and musicians – not so much. I can’t recall where the dots finally connected to Make Music Matter, but I believe it was through social media, either Alex Lifeson or Geddy Lee’s Instagram, I think.

What attracted you to the cause?

I focus my philanthropy on helping people have food to eat, helping people have a place to live, and helping those suffering from addiction and mental health challenges. Unfortunately, marginalized groups and those who have suffered traumas are disproportionately represented in these causes. These are the focus of Make Music Matter. I don’t believe the music industry or musicians are recognized appropriately for the tremendous amount of support they provide, so helping out through Make Music Matter was just the right thing for me to do.

Who’s your favourite artist of all time?

I grew up in an era with no shortage of very talents artists and bands, some commercially successful, some artistically, some both. Alex Lifeson, Neal Schon, and Jimmy Page have always had magic fingers in my book. Music is a team sport. It’s not just those on stage, it’s also in a broad sense everyone behind the scenes. So, my favourite artists are bands… Rush, Journey, and Led Zeppelin. Its tough to pick one. But that one would be Rush.

Favourite musical memory?

Rush’s Farewell to Kings tour, summer of 1977, Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. My first “large venue” concert.

Auction winner Brad with prized paddle by Tom Wilson and Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar signed by Rush’s Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee


As a collector, do you have a most prized item?

Guitars are a form of art to me. Especially Gibson CS. I am very fortunate to qualify as a “collector”. Some gifted, some purchased, some won at auction. They are all special. Impossible to pick a favourite.

A while back, Tom Wilson (as my sons say, the musician, NOT the hockey player from North Toronto) donated a painted paddle to a MMM auction. Fell in love with it from the first time I saw it and was lucky to win it in the auction. It is one of my favourite pieces of “art”. Thank you, Tom Wilson.

In what ways do you believe music has the power to heal and bring people together? 

From the National Library of Medicine:

“Since ancient times, music has been recognized for its therapeutic value. Greek physicians used flutes, lyres, and zitters to heal their patients. They used vibration to aid in digestion, treat mental disturbance, and induce sleep. Aristotle wrote that flute music could arouse strong emotions and purify the soul. Ancient Egyptians describe musical incantations for healing the sick.”

From 1PR:

“Music has a long and rich history of bringing people together and creating a sense of unity and camaraderie. Whether used to celebrate, mourn, protest, or unify people, music continues to serve as a powerful tool for promoting togetherness and bonding.”

The more our world changes, the more it stays the same.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t subscribe to any one faith or religion, but I do try to follow the belief that “but for the grace of god go I”. We all should.


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Sneak a peek at the latest auction running March 1 – 10:

Studio-played guitar signed by iconic Canadian rockers Blue Rodeo

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