About a month or so after Arcade Fire rocked the music industry by walking away with the Grammy for Album of the Year, the Montreal-based group celebrated with some friends in Haiti.
Some 250 people packed into the Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince -- many of whom were "expat aid workers looking for a few minutes of relaxation" -- dancing and singing alongside Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, and the rest of Arcade Fire.
Now the group is hoping to raise funds for Kanpe, a non-profit organization on a mission to rebuild the impoverished Caribbean country. Haiti is, after all, always close to Arcade Fire's heart.
Chassagne sits on the board of directors for Kanpe, holding the title of Grand Ambassador. In a note posted on Arcade Fire's website, Chassagne -- in French -- and husband Win Butler -- in English -- called for cash donations, promising to match up to $300,000 with the band's own money in an effort to help Haiti.
This is Win from Arcade Fire. If you are having a hard time deciding what to get your friends and family for gifts this year, give them our money! For any donation you make to Kanpe this holiday season, the band will match it. We will also send a nifty little post card, signed by Regine and I, to put under the tree, or wherever you put your gifts (it's not our business). For any silicone valley jerks who might try to bankrupt us, let's put the upper limit at 300,000$... Have a great holiday!
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It was during François Duvalier's dictatorship that Régine Chassagne's parents emigrated from Haiti and moved to Quebec. And though Chassagne was born in Montreal, Haiti's had a tremendous impact on both her personal life and career.
Last year, the singer wrote an editorial piece for The Observer following the devastating earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti. In it she wrote, "This earthquake has torn away the veil and revealed the crushing poverty that has been allowed by the West's centuries of disregard. That we must respond with a substantial emergency effort is beyond argument, but in the aftermath, Haiti must be rebuilt."