Who are we? Babes4Breasts (B4B) is a group of like-minded recording artists who have come together to fight breast cancer through music.
Our mission is to use the power of music to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer prevention, education, and support via conventional and integrative strategies, by way of a community-based approach
With a history of touring the nation, B4B has now focused our fundraising efforts in two areas:
1. Our beloved Ottawa Benefit Concert
2. Our incredible Compilation Albums
Our History – Over $140,000 Donated!
Since 2007, B4B has presented concerts all over Canada and created compilation albums featuring a variety of talented Canadian musicians including Rose Cousins, Bruce Cockburn, Tanya Tagaq, Jill Barber, James Keelaghan, Amelia Curran, Jenn Grant, Matthew Barber, Amanda Rheaume, and Leela Gilday to name a few. In 2010, we centered efforts in Ottawa concerts and events accompanying the release of our annual compilation albums.
Anchored by our popular annual Ottawa benefit concert drawing hundreds each year, B4B has fundraised funds for a variety of breast cancer related charities. Locally, we continue to support the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre's Babes4Breasts Head Start program. www.oicc.ca/en/programs-event/programs/headstart
Over the years with the help of many talented musicians, volunteers, sponsors and partners, B4B has donated over $140,000!
Our Roots - A Responsibility to help others
In 2003 Ana Miura decided it was time for her to start making a difference in her community. With nothing more than a desire to help, she chose music as her vehicle to raise funds and awareness for those dealing with breast cancer. With family and friends having battled breast cancer, Miura sought out to connect the local Ottawa music community with the women and men whose lives were affected by breast cancer. Inviting four other female singer/songwriters to join her in the first Babes for Breasts benefit concert, the night raised $500 for Breast Cancer Action Ottawa; in fact, a group of breast cancer survivors from BCA Ottawa chose the Babes4Breasts name!
It was an incredible evening, but Miura hadn't planned for an annual event. She was a young, busy student, single mom and musician and at the time happy with the success of the first B4B event. Then in 2005, in what Miura now describes as a turning point in the life of B4B occurred: the mother of a long time friend passed away of breast cancer. Says Miura,
"We were standing at the back of the church during the funeral and I had a clear thought: this should not be happening to anyone. We have to do something. I have to do something. That's when I decided I would start planning Babes4Breasts again."
From that point in time, Babes4Breasts began to grow. Enlisting the help of fellow Ottawa singer/songwriter Amanda Rheaume the two set out to plan and perform in concerts all across Canada from 2007 until present. Featuring over 50 artists and touring through 21 different Canadian cities, B4B has raised over $140,000 for a variety of charities.
In 2010 the benefit concert turned a new chapter and came back to the capital, focusing events solely in on Ottawa and in 2011 released their first ever compilation album featuring artists from across Canada; a loving nod to their national reach. The 2012 concert saw the release of the second compilation album with 16 different Canadian artists, but also the first ever “Be a Babe” open audition call! Be a Babe invited budding or established Canadian musicians 12 years and older to upload a video of a song performance and win the chance to Be a Babe and perform at the annual concert. 2013 saw the third volume of the popular Babes4Breasts compilation albums released and the first year of having 'Man Babes' on the roster, representing not only the men who support the women who have breast cancer, but also the men who get breast cancer. It also brought in our Beau's for Babes4Breasts at the Royal Oak two-week campaign where $20,000 was raised for the cause. The popular campaign was run again in the 2014 season, and our most moving concert yet the day following the tragic shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillio at the War Monument in downtown Ottawa. The 4th and 5th compilation albums were released in 2014 and 2015. These years also saw the creation of the Babes4Breasts Headstart Program at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre.
We continue to share music to help others.
The concert itself is an intimate, authentic and moving evening of music featuring singer/songwriters performing in a song circle; taking turns sharing songs, stories and laughter on stage. They are a beautiful testament to our strength in numbers and the connections we all share: the audience is the other half of that circle.
What has kept Miura and Rheaume going all these years? "We all have a responsibility to help others whether that is shovelling an elderly person's driveway or putting on a benefit concert. Babes4Breasts has turned into a community in and of itself filled with incredible people and a love and dedication that is unwavering," says Miura.
"Babes4Breasts continues to be an extremely fulfillng experience for me on a philanthropic level as well as a musical level. Getting to sings songs with my friends to a huge audience and feel like you are making a difference is incredible," says Rheaume.
Every Babe has been deeply affected by the stories of audience members who have had personal experience with breast cancer, whether they are a survivor, family member or friend. They are the reason B4B continues to run these concerts, raising funds as well as awareness.
In April of 2012, Founder Ana Miura was informed she was selected to received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubliee Medal (www.gg.ca/diamondjubilee) in recognition of her contributions to her community through Babes4Breasts. She was presented with the medal in June of 2012 which she shares with all of the amazing people who have helped Babes4Breasts along the way, from those who buy tickets, to those who work behind the scenes, to sponsors and charities; to friends and family. Says Miura,
"Community means many people working together to do better for the place we live and without your generosity and kindness, this would not be possible. I hope to live up to all of the other amazing recipients of this award - what an incredible country we live in."
Through the kindness and generosity of many people, over $140,000 had been raised for charity since 2007. The strength of community continues to build on this achievement, with our 2016 concert, five compliation albums and fundraising campaign in full swing!
Please consider joining Babes4Breasts at one of their concerts or other events.