A Cold Night for Cancer


On a warm January 4th night, the Moose Jaw Health Foundation brought A Cold Night for Cancer – Remembering Kelly Churko in support of the early detection of cancer to the community.

Moose Jaw came together to remember Kelly Churko in an evening of music and celebration. Kelly touched so many lives with his music and his spirit.  That evening his family and friends paid tribute and shared that spirit in song.  Moose Jaw is a unique community.  An evening like A Cold Night for Cancer was only possible here.

The Foundation appreciated everyone who travelled to Moose Jaw from across Canada and the United States to share in the evening.  Friends and family came from Victoria to Los Angeles.  Everyone in the community came together to make that night possible, and would not have been possible without their support.  The love and respect for the Churko family in Moose Jaw runs deep.  Many of the sponsors for the event wanted to be involved from the start because they personally knew Kelly or members of the Churko family.  There were over 60 members of the Churko family at A Cold Night for Cancer.

For the Foundation, it encapsulated to our donors and the community the true meaning of charitable giving.  To see a community come together for this night was truly inspiring.  The event not only celebrated Kelly’s life, it uplifted everyone and left a legacy of care.

The evening started with a piano solo by Casey Churko.  Casey is a lawyer in Regina and a classically trained pianist as well.  He played two pieces: Every Rose Has It’s Thorn by Poison and a classical piece.  As he was playing, a PowerPoint played on a screen showing pictures of Kelly throughout the years.  Backstage, it was easy to see how moved the members of the Churko family were.

Following Casey’s solo, Rob Carnie, who was Masters of Ceremonies, took the stage.  Rob was honoured to be MC.  Rob is a close friend of the Churko family and took a personal interest in ensuring the success of this event.  Even before tickets went on sale, Rob predicted that it would instantly sell-out – and was right. Rob then introduced Churko! to the stage.

Cancer touches the lives of every family.  For the Churko family, they lost their brother and son, Kelly Churko, to cancer.Churko! toured Western Canada in the ‘80s.  The Churko family has a rich Canadian musical heritage.  Entertaining both young and old.  Members of the Churko family, past and present, came together. This was the first time in 30 years; they reunited on stage along with the next generation of the Churko family.  The Churko family have lived their lives in music, and they shared their music in memory of Kelly.

During the intermissions, guests were bidding on a variety of silent auction items.  The majority of the items were donated by members of the Churko family.  In the end, the silent auction raised over $4,960.

At the end of the first intermission, two signature guitars were auctioned off.  The Todd Kern’s guitar sold for $2,000 and the Cory Churko guitar sold for $6,500.  Wade Cott from JGL volunteered to be auctioneer for the evening.

Toque hit the stage with force with a two-set performance. Four musicians from Canada who tour the world with the greatest artists of all time - from Slash to Shania Twain - Gene Simmons to Kelly Clarkson - Michael Schenker to B’z.  They play Canadian classics live - all the hit songs that were influential their musical careers having grown up in the prairies.

Todd Kerns, Cory Churko, Brent Fitz and Shane Gaalaas. We’re from Lanigan, Saskatchewan; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Innisfail, Alberta. Their Los Angeles and Las Vegas residents for several decades now, but their hearts and influences lie heavy on all the amazing music they loved from Canada: Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Kim Mitchell, April Wine, Streetheart, Red Rider, Prism, Harlequin, Toronto, Aldo Nova, Chilliwack, Nick Gilder, Platinum Blonde, Queen City Kids, The Guess Who, Orphan, Alanis Morrissette and many more.

 They have headlined The Juno Awards, CFL Grey Cup, NHL Heritage Classic, and sold-out shows across the planet. Their first CD ‘Give’r’ released in 2016 gave the nod to many Canadian hits, and their latest CD ‘Never Enough’ released in 2019 not only features more Canadian smashes, but also their first original song ‘Never Enough For You.’

At the end of the night, an encore from Toque and Churko! brought a thunderous standing ovation from the crowd.  Over $53,000 was raised and the Foundation announced that the mammography goal had been reached.

The evening would not have been possible without the support of James Murdock, Jared Mathieson and Kelly McElree.  This was a truly memorable night for everyone, and will have a lasting impact in the community.  At the after party at the Cornerstone an additional $2,000 was raised.

Photos courtesy of Andy Hamilton Photography. 

Copyright 2012 Moose Jaw Health Foundation