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Hundreds of thousands of people in Türkiye and Syria are still struggling to find adequate shelter and sanitation, two months after a devastating earthquake hit the region. Despite an appeal for $1 billion to support survivors, only 10% of the required funding has been raised, making it difficult to address the humanitarian crisis.

Moved by the plight of her homeland, Turkish violinist Müge Büyükçelen, who now resides in Victoria, has rallied her colleagues from the Victoria Symphony, the Emily Carr String Quartet, and other classical music organizations to organize a benefit concert to raise funds for the survivors of the earthquake.

"I couldn't just stand by and watch the crisis unfold," said Büyükçelen, a long-time member of the Victoria Symphony and the Emily Carr String Quartet. "I started discussing the idea of a benefit concert with my colleagues shortly after the earthquake happened, but we couldn't come together until now."

The concert is taking place at a time when help is most needed, as international support tends to drop off once the story fades from the headlines. Büyükçelen and her colleagues will perform Turkish music alongside some more well-known classical repertoire at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, May 13.

The Cathedral’s Priest in Charge, The Reverend Canon Jeannine Friesen is honoured that the cathedral will be hosting the event. “This concert is a reminder of our call as Christians to heal the world wherever it is most broken,” she said. “Even when a disaster is no longer on the front page, it doesn’t mean that our duty to care and repair is relinquished.”

Donations collected at this concert will be passed on directly to the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, which provides cash and in-kind support directly to those who need it most in Türkiye and Syria ( All donations over $20 are eligible for a charitable receipt. 

Benefit Concert: Syria & Türkiye Earthquake Relief
Saturday, May 13, 4.00pm
Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra at Rockland
Admission by donation. All proceeds will support the Earthquake relief via the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund