Thieves stole the metal straight out from under the Yukon metal band Sanktuary.
While touring from Whitehorse to Halifax, the members woke up one day in Toronto to find their van and $10,000 worth of instruments and gear had been stolen.
After a show, they parked their van in a paid lot in downtown Toronto and slept at guitarist and vocalist Alan Dinger’s uncle’s house.
“It seemed good enough, it was well lit, a safe enough area,” said Cole Hume, Sanktuary’s bassist.
Their navy blue one-ton Chevy van was gone in the morning.
“Our first instinct was that they must have towed it or something, so we started calling around the impound lots, but no one had it,” said Hume.
After the cops got involved, the tour van was discovered the next morning, only five blocks away in an alley.
“We were really glad they found it so we had wheels again. We didn’t even expect we’d ever see it again, we thought we had everything gone,” said Hume.
But the instruments and other expensive items were missing from under the loft in the back.
The camera with all the tour photos was gone, as well as iPods, amps, a speaker cabinet and effect pedals.
What broke Hume’s heart the most were the missing vintage guitars and basses.
“There were four guitars stolen,” said Hume. “They were all pretty pricey guitars. There were two Gibsons – one vintage Gibson from the early ‘80s and one brand new Gibson, both fairly pricey instruments – two basses, one of which was a vintage Rickenbacker from the early ‘70s and that was probably a $3,500 bass. I’m thinking in total there was probably $8,000 in guitars stolen.
“A guitar is really a personable item. It’s very personal to you. Some of those guitars, pretty much all of them, are irreplaceable. Maybe not quite one-of-a-kind, but really hard to replace.”
With a lack of instruments and gear, the band cancelled its last two Ontario gigs, but borrowed instruments for their three Montreal shows.
Then they got in their recovered van, put the pedal to the metal and drove straight to Halifax where the four bandmates are now living in a farmhouse, trying to make their way onto the Canadian music scene.
Their friends and families set up the Sanktuary Assistance Fund at the Royal Bank in Whitehorse.
Hume’s girlfriend Justine Alton has organized a fundraising event for the band to buy new instruments. So far, the community has rounded up more than $1,000.
This is a good way to give back to Sanktuary, which made a big impact on young followers in Whitehorse, said Alton.
There will be a silent auction with items donated by local retailers, and so far, three local bands have confirmed a performance for the Friday night event at the Old Fire Hall. Kung Fu Aliens, Death in Venice and Bushwacker will rock out with other unannounced musical guests.
The all-age fundraiser takes place June 18 from 5 to 11 p.m.
Contact Larissa Robyn Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org