Nadia Elkharadly: Come out and Rock your ‘Staches!

If you’ve been wandering around Toronto since the beginning of November wondering why the male population has decided to embrace the creepy or porny mustache look, you probably aren’t familiar with Movember.  Started in Australia over a decade ago, Movember is a movement to create awareness of men’s health issues, and raise money for research and cures for diseases such as prostate cancer, depression, and other male focused diseases and disorders.  Men grow mustaches throughout the month of November, raising money and doing their part to contribute to the cause.  And even though woman can’t generally grow a movember worthy mustache, there are many ladies, or mo Sistas out there doing their part.

One of these awesome ladies is Alanna Abramsky.  The 25 year old Sports and Event Marketing student is one of the people spearheading Rockin’ Stache, a musical fundraiser taking place at the Great Hall this Thursday (November 29th).  With a lineup that includes my lovely friends and Brad Fillatre as well as local bands Papermapsand Graydon James and the Young Novelists, Rockin’ Stache is guaranteed to, well, rock!  But don’t take my word for it.  Check out what Alanna had to say about the event, and how her love of music and event planning motivated her to bring together great music for a great cause.

Nadia E:  What drove you to go to school for event planning?

Alanna Abramsky:  When I was completing my undergrad at Queen’s University, I decided to organize a concert with Craig Cardiff for my friends. It was a huge success and after that, I was hooked. I continued to organize concerts with Peter Katz and other local talent in the Kingston/Peterborough community and have been planting my foot in the music industry wherever I can. When I realized that I had a talent for event planning and that I was obsessed with music, I decided to find a program that would allow me to further my education in the entertainment industry and learn how to properly promote events. This (and Google) led me to George Brown.

NE:  What would be your dream event to plan/organize?

AA:  Bonnarroo, Osheaga, or Sasquatch. I know you want one. But those are my top three.

NE: How did the idea of the Rockin Stache event come about?

AA:  We have an event planning course that is part of our program. Within the first week of classes we were told to get a group of students together, organize an event and align with a charity. Some of my classmates had heard about my musical past and decided that we should throw a concert. The name Rockin’ Stache actually came from a friend of ours who just blurted it out one day as an event name. At first, we thought it was a joke and we kind of laughed about it. But after a couple of weeks it just kind of stuck and I’m so glad it did.

NE:  How did Movember become your charity of choice for the event?

AA:  After we decided on organizing a concert, Movember just seemed like the perfect fit. It was a charity that we were all passionate about and we felt that a concert for Movember sounded like a great night to be had for all of our MoBros and MoSistas. We wanted to align with Movember because it seems that everyone can relate to it in some way. We felt that we had the ability to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer and Men’s Mental Health and to really explain what Movember stands for.

NE:  What made you decide on an Indie music lineup for the event?

AA:  Who doesn’t love Indie Music???? Our Rockin’ Stache crew are all big Indie junkies so we thought it would be the best fit. Also, Indie music has a very Movember feel to me. I don’t really know how to explain it but the two should be perma-snuggling – side by side. ALL THE TIME.

NE:  How did you find the bands that are participating?

AA:  I found (Pictured above), Brad Fillatre (Pictured below), and Papermaps through a connection that I made by going to a Movember party. One of the Movember correspondents that we were working with sent me to Audioblood (media) and we started working together.

I also worked with NXNE this past summer and decided to use Graydon James & The Young Novelists because they were meant to play at the venue I was working at and I loved their music.

NE:  I love the artwork on the poster for the event, what was the inspiration and who designed it?

AA:  Our graphic designers name is Anjelica Tizon. She’s in Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson and I work with her at the Firkin on Yonge. We were looking for a graphic designer, and I asked her. I knew what I wanted the poster to look like in regards to colours, font and pictures, and to have it Movember themed of course, but Anjelica is the real brains behind the poster. She put all of my ideas onto a page and turned it into a masterpiece. Seriously, if you ever need a graphic designer; find her! She’s super talented.

NE:  What are you hoping people will get out of this event?

AA:  We’re really hoping that people who come to Rockin’ Stache will leave with a deeper understanding of what Movember is and what they are trying to achieve. There have been numerous occasions where I’ve seen men grow moustaches just because it’s the cool thing to do in November. There’s a reason behind the MO. And I hope that we can expand that awareness, raise some funds, and have a really great night. I’m looking forward to it. And you should be too.

NE:  It’s clear that you’re an intelligent, ambitious and driven young woman.  And it’s clear that you’ve found something your passionate about.  What advice do you have for young people who are trying to figure what they want to do?

AA:  I think the biggest thing for me is to go out of your comfort zone and try new things. I randomly had this idea to organize a concert 6 years ago not having any ideas as to how to do it. There was a lot of work involved, and it became stressful at times, but I learnt so much in the end. And I’m still doing it and I LOVE it. I also volunteer for things that I’m interested in because I think that’s the best way to figure out what you like/dislike. Be adventurous. Meet new people. Have fun. And don’t give up on what you want. Just make sure that you’re happy doing what you do and everything else will fall into place.

Thank you Alanna for not only talking to me, but putting on what is surely to be a phenomenal show.  Check out the event info here, and make sure to come out with your ‘stache a rockin!

Until next time,



Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

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Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

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