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Garnet Rogers and Dave Gunning performing for a cause in Tatamagouche


TATAMAGOUCHE, N.S. —

Sharing his talents to make the world a little better place is what keeps Garnet Rogers returning to Tatamagouche to perform.
Rogers will take part in the fundraising concert for Breaking the Silence (BTS), June 2 and this year he has Dave Gunning joining him.
“We’re bombarded by appalling news every day,” said Rogers. “You try to find little ways of coping and surviving.
“Breaking the Silence allows me to make a difference, and it helps me sleep knowing I’ve made some tiny contribution to a larger cause.”
BTS is a solidarity network formed in Tatamagouche 30 years ago to carry out human rights advocacy and support rebuilding efforts by Mayan partners in Guatemala. Years of armed conflict in that country led to human displacement, human rights violations and genocide. 
“The people involved are so dedicated,” said Rogers. “The closer I can get to people like that, the better.
“Last year I performed and Dave (Gunning) and his wife turned up. I’ve known Dave a long time and he’s been fighting pollution at the pulp mill, so I suggested if he had time, he take part in the concert this year, and he agreed.
Kathryn Anderson, a member of BTS, is excited about having the two musicians perform.
“They do this at no charge, so it indicates the generosity of both of them,” she said. “It makes a huge difference to us to have this support.”
She got involved in efforts to support Guatemala in 1984, while she was living in Montreal.
“There were refugees doing theatre and sharing stories of genocide,” she recalled. “I saw enormous courage and resilience in the face of unimaginable repression.
“We’re just the support for initiatives developed by our Mayan partners, who are determined to create a new future.”
She’s still in touch with many of the people she met though the network years ago.
Half the money raised at this year’s concert will go to BTS, while the other half will support the Rabinal New Hope Foundation, which works to ensure children in the Maya-Achi region of Guatemala can study beyond primary school. They do so in a place where their language and culture are valued, and they learn about human rights.
“The people in Breaking the Silence are thinking far beyond their own community and making a difference for people thousands of miles away,” said Rogers. “That’s something to admire.”
The concert will be held at Sharon United Church on Sunday, June 2 at 2 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation of $20 at the door.

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