Red Deer’s Veteran’s Park will be packed with people next weekend who are part of a music video project that decries all forms of violence.
On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Ross Street location commemorating people who died to protect Canadian freedoms will be filled with more than 50 participants of Curtis Labelle’s #familyislove video project.
Labelle said he composed music and lyrics to an original song (lyrics were also written by Jeff de Leon and Camille Larin), as a way of taking a stand against societal and domestic aggression and intolerance.
He believes domestic physical abuse, school bullying, mental abuse, gay bashing, and racist slurs are all forms of violence.
“I’m done with all of it,” said Labelle, who described having to deal with an alcoholic family member while growing up, as well as mental abuse.
At school, Labelle was bullied for being different: “I was a boy who played the piano. I didn’t do anything to anyone… I was picked on for no reason.”
He said he’s known friends who have suffered abuse in relationships — and now that Labelle is married to a same-sex spouse, he’s hearing hurtful anti-gay marriage remarks.
Labelle admitted he finds it all very discouraging, so he decided to co-write the song and make a video as a way of spreading public awareness that these behaviours are intolerable.
Parts of the video have already been shot by Hot Shoe Studios and directed by Jason Steele. Labelle, a local singer/songwriter and musician, said he’s looking forward to the main shoot next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
He’s encouraged that people from across Alberta have been signing up to be part of the project on his www.curtislabelle.com website, and that outlets along Ross Street are offering such services as catering (From Here to Mars) and a warm-up space (The Hub).
His website is accepting sign ups until Monday. Labelle said singing or dancing is not necessary.
The #familyislove video will be released to YouTube on Dec. 1, and the same titled song will be available from streaming services.
Labelle added anyone who buys #familyislove merchandise can select a charity and decide how much of the proceeds will be donated to it.