It would be nice to go back in time and tell Mr. Chi Pig (Ken Chin) that one day there will be a scholarship in his name at his old alma mater, the Victoria School of the Arts.
Did he trust you – in his darkest hour? May be. Before he died in 2020 at the age of 57, Chee Pig made a huge dent through the North American punk rock scene, especially in Western Canada and the place where he was born and raised, Edmonton. His exploits both on and off the stage are well documented.
Local music scene stalwart Cameron Noyes, executor of Chee’s estate, and radio personality “Metal” John Kyle are spearheading the scholarship plan. They got the green light from surviving family members, including sister Peggy, who was like a mother to a young Ken. If they can get at least $10,000, a foundation will receive about $500 a year in perpetuity, which is awarded annually to a deserving Vic student. Who will sit on the jury has yet to be determined.
“We are excited about the fundraising effort to establish a Chi Pig Scholarship at Victoria School,” said Principal Stacy Fish. “As a legendary punk-rock vocalist and an advocate for queer identity, Mr. Chee Pig’s success and unwavering commitment to individuality continue to inspire students today. We look forward to working with community groups to keep his legacy alive.”
A call went out to potential corporate sponsors: EPCOR, ATB, and more, and hey, why not Skier’s Sportshop – where Mr. Chee Pig once earned an endorsement for being a great skateboarder, along with a gift as a hardcore punk. Star. SNFU has worked with a number of famous acts for over 40 years, including Bif Naked, and also Green Day. Yes, the SNFU shared the stage with Green Day. Among many others.
The first major fundraiser took place on Wednesday 19 October in the Starlight Room. Bif covered it all in a recent Facebook post:
“With my heart leading me, and always remembering my undying love for Ken/Chi, I have to share this gig with you – and tell everyone who’s in #edmonton next week to support the Starlight Room for this fundraiser gig. . #ChiPig Memorial Scholarship Fund👍🏼 October 19th at the famous @starliteroom Wish I could be there too🤗 But we will be there in heart and soul Open your mouth and SNFU Tell me why I love you forever😝💕💕💕💕💕 Posted by @withrepost • @starliteroom Chee Pig Memorial Scholarship fundraiser Victoria Center of the Arts with a featured screening of The Devil’s Voice, The Cutoffs, Dad Religion “Open Your Mouth and Say Chee Pig” movie! Special exhibition of street photography by Jerry Cordeiro and original artwork by Spider Yardley Jones, Bob Prador, Donna Derry, Paul Karpinski and many more!”
Donations will be accepted at the gig.
Illustrated by Bob Prado