Few musicians have given more of their time to community causes in the Comox Valley than Todd Butler.
It’s no surprise then, that when word came out that he was in need, the line-up of people wanting to help was immediate, and long.
In August, Todd was the victim of “catastrophic kidney and liver failure”.
“He spent about two weeks in hospital and then he was told he had to basically go home and wait and see what was happening,” said longtime friend and musical collaborator Doug Cox. “It didn’t look good at all; the doctors had given him a 50/50 chance at that point.”
Todd went to stay at his dad’s farm in Onoway, 40 minutes west of Edmonton.
His latest medical visit, last week, showed a slight improvement in both his kidneys and his liver, but Todd is a long way from healthy and won’t be eligible for organ transplant for a year.
Cox, and a long list of Valley musicians, are getting together for a huge fundraising concert for Todd, next Friday at the Cumberland Hotel.
The problem wasn’t getting enough entertainment; the problem was trying to fit in everyone who had requested to be a part of it.
“It’s unbelievable how many people have called wanting to take part,” said Cox. “The (slots) filled up in less than two days. It’s musicians from all walks of life in the Comox Valley. People from the bar scene, the folk scene, the jazz scene. It’s just amazing. I’ve had to turn away two more bands that emailed me today.”
The tentative lineup is as follows:
7 p.m. – Songs in the round with Mary Murphy, Sue Pyper, Brodie Dawson and Helen Austin.
7:50 – Kenny Shaw
8:20 – Blaine Dunaway and friends
8:50 – The Fabulous Mutts
9:30 – Doug Cox, Sam Hurrie, Ron Campbell
10:10 – Little Big Shot
10:40- New Mother Earth & James Lambert
11:20 – Too Hot For Covers
11:50 – Machine Gun Kelly
12:20 – The Roosters
12:50 – The Rangers
There will be a silent auction as well. To donate items to the silent auction, drop off at the Cumberland Hotel.
As for Todd, the immediate future is to move to Victoria to live with his brother.
“He won’t be coming back to the Comox Valley for a while,” said Cox. “All the money raised will help with either his recovery process, or, God forbid, his funeral costs. We don’t want to think about that, but that is a possibility. We just want to be able to support him and his family.
“I don’t think you could find another musician in the Comox Valley who has played as many benefit concerts as Todd has over the years, or supported as many causes, so it’s an opportunity for the community to give back. And they already have been. ”
Cox has set up a crowd sourcing campaign (gofundme.com/s44m5km5), which has already raised more than $5,875.
There is also a trust account at and TD Bank (request to donate to the Todd Butler Recovery Fund).