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Fundraiser aims to support efforts to end human trafficking in Calgary

Human trafficking is not just a problem for other places.

Tackling the issue in Calgary are social service agencies, the Calgary Police Service, RCMP, and now the general public.

The latter are being asked to help with the first ever A Not So Silent Summer fundraiser, happening on July 28 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Downtown Marriot.

Funds are being raised through ticket sales to the event, which will be happening on the rooftop patio, and features live music from Mariya Stokes, Marcus Trummer, Matt Blais, and DJ sets by Stay Vigilant Productions.

“We wanted to do it to raise some awareness during the summer, and really have some fun talking about a really tough subject for #NotInMyCity—human trafficking and sex exploitation—and really just to help raise awareness and some funds for them to help continue to in their fight against that,” said event co-founder Morgan Melnyk.

“Human trafficking happens everywhere. People always think that it happens somewhere else… but it happens right here in Canada, happens in Alberta, happens in Calgary.”

According to Statistics Canada data, the number of human trafficking incidents reported to police in Calgary has been on the rise, although it remains an underreported crime.

Data collected by #NotInMyCity overwhelming paints a picture where young women and girls are targeted, with 72 per cent of victims being under the age of 25.

Melnykn said that he and his co-founder Lyle Peterman began fundraising for the cause five years ago, through their winter event A Not So Silent Nite.

The summer event, said Melnyk, would continue to help combat human trafficking in Calgary, which frequently involves sex exploitation, child exploitation, and modern slavery.

"Modern slavery, which is happening today, is really what this is. Making money off a lot of people," Melnyk said.

"The value behind one human trafficked person, whether it's being transported or just financially being taken advantage of, or being made money off of is hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that alone just speaks volumes of there's enough business and money to be made, that we need to change the system and protect those people."

Tickets are available for purchase, starting at $30, at http://www.showpass.com/anotsosilentsummer2023.