Fundraising for Juno-nominated musician Bill Bourne exceeds goal – Red Deer Advocate

Friends and fans rally around central Alberta Juno award-winning musician Bill Bourne, who is struggling financially due to illness.

Supporters, including other musicians, are contributing to a GoFundMe fundraiser started by Bourne’s daughter, Emily.

As of March 15, the fundraiser had exceeded its goal of $25,000, raising $36,668.

“Bill would never seek help on his own; he is uncomfortable with the possibility of being a burden or an imposition,” Emily wrote on her GoFundMe page. “I started this fundraiser in his name because I think many would be grateful to help my dad through this difficult time.”

Bourne, a folk/roots singer-songwriter and descendant of famed Icelandic poet Stephan Stephansson of Markerville, was raised in a musical family in Innisfail.

He won a Juno Award in the early 1990s while performing as a duo with piper Alan MacLeod, and has since received several nominations.

In 2020, Bourne was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer. According to his GoFundMe page, his kidneys began to fail due to an obstruction last year. He survived what was a life-threatening illness through medical intervention, but he still suffers from chronic pain and fatigue and is unable to function and support himself.

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“I hope to raise enough money so my dad doesn’t have to worry about basic living expenses,” Emily wrote on the page. “I want him to have the opportunity to focus on himself and his healing process. He deserves to feel safe and supported by everyone who loves and appreciates him.

Anyone who chooses to support Bourne can also purchase any of his many recordings through BandCamp.

Over the years, the musician, once known for his long hair and top hat, has been a member of numerous groups and collectives, including Tri-Continental (with Madagascar Slim and Lester Quitzau), the Free Radio Dance Band ( with his son, Pat Bourne), the Amoeba Collective and Scottish band the Tannahill Weavers.

His latest recording is A fandango of love from 2020, with electric slide guitar and banjo.

In 2015, Bourne and friends released Trance landscapes – Gaia Sadhana, a spontaneous meditation/party record. Previously he published Songs from a Gypsy Caravan. blues land, featuring The Free Radio Band. Bourne has also recorded with Jasmine Ohlhauser and Wyckham Porteous in the band Bop Ensemble.

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Bourne’s collaboration with Eivør Pálsdóttir from the Faroe Islands, the CD eivør, won two Danish Music Awards in 2006.


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