For over twenty years, Rae Spoon and their music has helped countless people across the world. Now they need our help.
On January 6, 2021, multi-disciplinary artist Rae Spoon released the Rae Spoon Songbook, a two-decade-spanning digital book of sheet music (along with recordings) for all eleven of their albums (109 songs in total) as a celebration of their 40th birthday. Anyone with even a passing familiarity of Spoon’s music knows just how rich and deep their catalogue goes. From the country and bluegrass sounds of Spoon’s earliest releases (long unavailable as physical or digital releases) to their indie-folk opus Superioryouareinferior (2008) to the electronic pop of Love Is A Hunter (2010) and I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets (2012) to the National Film Board documentary-musical, My Prairie Home (2013) to their mostrecentreleases on Coax Records (the artist-based label they founded in 2015 to amplify under-represented groups in the music industry) Rae Spoon has been one of the country’s most prolific creators and community-builders.
As a musician and author, Spoon has never shied away from sharing their story and journey as a trans, non-binary person who has endured trauma, abuse, survived their evangelical Christian upbringing, as well as taking on systemic prejudice and injustice faced by trans and non-binary people in the medical system. Spoon has made it their mission to give voice to the voiceless, shine a bright light into the darkness, and confront biases and intolerance wherever it hides. They have helped countless people from across the world through their activism and art. And now Spoon needs that help in return.
Spoon was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer in March 2020 and underwent five rounds of chemotherapy, nine weeks of external radiation, and four internal radiation procedures to try and eradicate the inoperable tumour. By August, oncologists believed that Spoon’s cancer was in remission, and after one final scan, they moved from their home in Victoria to Toronto. Two months later, Spoon learned that the cancer had returned and they needed to come back to Victoria for surgery. As if to add insult to injury, on top of all the medical expenses they’re incurring as a self-employed artist without health insurance, Spoon’s van has ended up requiring significant repairs.
Friends have helped Spoon set up a fundraising campaign to support them as they work towards securing long-term disability, getting onto BC’s Fair Pharmacare, and ensuring stable, affordable housing for their recovery. The campaign kicked off on February 18, and within the first twenty-four hours, it surpassed both the original goal of raising $32 000.00 and a subsequent increased goal and is now over 80% of the way to raising $75 000.00.
The road to recovery is long and expensive; the massive outpouring of love and support for Rae so far is inspiring and renews faith in the collective power of community. Please consider supporting Rae with their ongoing medical and living expenses by contributing to the campaign. Full details on the campaign, its goals, and how to contribute are available here. As a thank you, each person who donates will receive a link to download a digital copy of the Rae Spoon Songbook.
We love you, Rae, and we’re behind you all the way.