Feist, Dan Mangan, David Usher Playing #ImagineOct20th Before Canadian Election

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When American election season rolls around the high-profile "Rock The Vote" campaign frequently kicks in to engage young voters.

A different type of vote-rocking has emerged in the lead-up to the Canadian federal election happening Oct. 19. A collective of musicians, including some notable names such as Feist, Dan Mangan, David Usher, Sarah Slean, Whitehorse, Stars' Torquil Campbell and Martha Wainwright have signed on to participate in #ImagineOct20th, a series of concerts taking place across the country with a decidedly partisan bent.

The #ImagineOct20th movement's request is simple: they're asking people to imagine a Canada where current Prime Minister and Conservative leader Stephen Harper is no longer in power. #ImagineOct20th isn't endorsing a specific party to replace the ruling Conservatives — the Liberal, Green and New Democratic Party are all visually represented on its Facebook page along with a shared image of an "Anybody But Harper" message — it's more interested in motivating progressively-minded people to make their presence known.

"We are encouraging concerts, events and public assemblies across Canada to promote the hashtag #ImagineOct20th and the collective concept of a new Canadian chapter. This movement aims to battle electoral apathy in hopes of a change in governance. It’s a tool for unification between any/other progressive movements," said a statement on the #ImagineOct20th website.

"We encourage people of all kinds to do the same in their communities. Plan an event. Let us know. Let’s get the word out. Make some #ImagineOct20th art, write a poem, write a song, make a video sketch and post it online. Make the campaign yours. It belongs to you, just like Canada does. Use the hashtag on your social media outlets. Be a part of the movement.

"This is a headless beast. It doesn’t need a leader. It is simply an idea to be shared and magnified through the actions of many."

Feist, Slean, The Sadies, Emm Gryner, author Joseph Boyden, Lowell and more will participate in the Toronto #ImagineOct20th event taking place on Sept. 30 at 918 Bathurst. Dan Mangan, Daniel Wesley, Geoff Berner and Veda Hille are among the performers for a Vancouver event on Oct. 1 at the Biltmore Cabaret. Martha Wainwright and David Usher are anchoring an event in Montreal on Oct. 10 at Theatre Fairmont. There are also other events listed for Calgary, Halifax and Winnipeg with the #ImagineOct20th soliciting for more events.

"If you are organizing an event and would like to include it in the #ImagineOct20th movement, you can email us at imagineoct20th@gmail.com and we’ll add it to the event listing on this site," it says on the website. "We suggest that you find a suitable cause to donate your proceeds to. #ImagineOct20th is not an organization and does not (cannot) accept any donations. It’s a blog and a hashtag."

A number of respected independent musicians have also been throwing their support behind #ImagineOct20th on social media. Stars' Amy Millan, Hollerado, Rose Cousins, Broken Social Scene's Charles Spearin, Jenn Grant, Hawksley Workman, Rich Aucoin, Minotaurs and The Darcys are just some of the musicians who've tweeted their endorsement of the idea.


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