In June 2013, southern Alberta experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding described by the provincial government as the worst in Alberta’s history. A total of 27 local states of emergency and dozens of communities were under evacuation orders.
Over 100,000 people were displaced as a result of the flooding and early damage estimates are several billion dollars.
As the water receded, clean-up efforts began in communities across Alberta, showing an incredible outpouring of volunteerism and compassion as strangers put on rubber boots and began helping those most affected.
Not knowing how else to help some delivered flats of water to muddy volunteers or offered hugs at the many evacuation centres, and some played music for weary victims to give relief from the drone of pumps.
The outpouring of support was so great that groups like YYCHelps were established to help direct manpower to clean-up efforts.
Even though the majority of evacuees have since returned home, some have nothing to go home to. After the initial clean-up, there will be long-term rebuilding efforts and support required to assist Albertans hardest hit by the flooding. Home and small business owners, and public services will all need support to recover.
Alberta Flood Aid was established in late June to raise funds for long-term recovery efforts through a benefit concert. The Calgary Foundation then offered to direct donations to The Calgary Foundation Flood Rebuilding Fund to ensure 100% of funds raised go to those most in need.
Following an outpouring of support from individuals, businesses, community groups, and public organizations, Alberta Flood Aid moved forward with plans for a benefit concert on August 15, 2013 at McMahon Stadium.