A GoFundMe page was started to help The Vat, a Red Deer music venue that was hard-hit by the COVID-19-related shut-down. (Contributed image).

GoFundMe campaign raises more than $4,800 to help Red Deer music venue

The idea was getting people to donate as much as their bar tab

The Vat is something of a Red Deer music institution — it certainly has its share of loyal fans.

The “staple dive bar and stage” in the old brewery complex off Taylor Drive has been hard hit by the temporary shutdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A GoFundMe page was started to help the owner weather this storm.

“The Vat has been around Red Deer for generations, and though they will be reopening, we want to make sure that Terry (Cave) has all the help from the community he can get during COVID-19,” writes the fundraising organizer Olivia Rudyk.

Many patrons consider The Vat a place “where anybody is welcome, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation … always putting on the best shows and bringing everyone from different scenes together.”

The idea was to get 50 people to donate $20, which could be the tab for a few beers at the Vat.

“We could easily get to our goal of $1,000. It ain’t much, but anything helps,” Rudyk said in the post.

So far, more than $4,830 has been raised.

“I’m definitely surprised by how far this fundraiser has gotten already. I was expecting maybe $1500, so it blows me away that I’ve had to raise to goal numerous times,” she added in an email to the Advocate.

“Having this much support for The Vat really warms my heart. I know lots of us don’t have loads of money right now, so to see how many people are willing to put maybe their last $20 towards helping keeping The Vat open genuinely made me cry.”

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