Punk for Paws involves Guelph

Bands will be hitting the stage at Onyx Nightclub to raise funds for the OVC Pet Trust in Punk for Paws’ first show since the pandemic

Guelph and Toronto-based punk bands are hitting the stage at Onyx Nightclub on Friday night to raise money for a furry cause.

A “passion project” started by vet student Nicole Iarusci in 2018, Punk for Paws raises money annually for the OVC Pet Trust.

“In 2018, I was an aspiring vet student who loved music,’ she said. “So I wanted to create a concert environment of my own that would give back to a great cause.”

Since launching, she’s hosted two concerts, both in Toronto. This is the first one since the pandemic, and the first one to take place in Guelph.

The lineup includes local bands Excuse Me and Animal Boy, and Toronto-based band Shootr.

“We have such a talented lineup. I’m really excited to have the first Guelph show have such a great introduction,” she said.

There will also be a live silent auction for things like art, cosmetics, gift cards, instruments and pet products.

“It’s gonna be a great environment with great energy. Every Punk for Paws has that. And I think it’s gonna be extra special given that this is the first one post-COVID.”

Iarusci chose OVC Pet Trust as her cause of choice because of the work they do improving and advancing companion animal health and well-being.

“That was my motivation, but what makes it really meaningful now is that my contributions will not only affect the animals, but my colleagues and I, patients and our future careers,” she said.

Funds donated to the Trust supporting innovative discoveries that improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases affecting pets.

“We’re so grateful to Nicole for her dedication and support,” said OVC Pet Trust director Kim Robinson. ”Since 2018, almost $4,000 has been raised from Punk for Paws concerts and initiatives to support the work of OVC Pet Trust, which fuels our mission of working to improve life for pets and the people who love them.”

In the first year, the event raised just over $1,000, and just over $2,000 in the second. So Iarusci said she hopes this year makes around $3,000.

“But regardless of the monetary amounts, I’m just really excited to experience it again,” she said.

The fundraiser has always been annual, but Iarusci said she’s open to more frequent events.

“Who knows what future collaborations are in store after this one?”

Doors open at 6:30 pm, music starts at 7 pm The first few people through the door will get swag bags from sponsors.

You can buy tickets in advance here for $12 until noon on Friday. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15.

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