Jay Smith Remembered with Vancouver Benefit Show

Jay Smith Remembered with Vancouver Benefit Show
In 2013, the Canadian music world was shocked and saddened by the sudden death of guitarist Jay Smith, who passed away while on tour as a member of Matt Mays' band. Now, the late musician is being remembered with a tribute show in Vancouver, which will feature some of his former friends and collaborators.

The show will take place on April 1 at the Imperial, and it will feature Matt Mays, Dustin Bentall, Odds and Adam Baldwin. A press release adds that there will be "several special guests," with Smith's music to be performed throughout the event.

All proceeds will go to the Unison Benevolent Fund, which provides aid to members of the music industry in times of crisis. This includes counselling services for those dealing with mental illness or grief. A press release notes that Smith took his own life.

Bentall said in a statement, "It was a really tough time in my life, losing Jay to suicide. It was really tough for everyone who knew him. Even today, it's still a very emotional thing to deal with, and honestly, I think it always will be. Our tight group of friends — we still talk about him every day. We miss him every day."  

Bentall continued, "I wanted to throw this show to celebrate Jay's life and his music, while shining a light on the issue of mental illness. I don't want to see any more of my friends or fellow musicians lose themselves in severe depression or addiction. It can be a very scary thing."

This isn't the first time that Smith has been remembered with a benefit show. Prior Nova Scotia gigs in Halifax and Sydney raised over $200,000 for Smith's two young children.