A new charity which will help people to access music industry opportunities has been set up in memory of Liam Colgan, a young musician who tragically passed away whilst on his brother’s stag trip to Hamburg.
Liam went missing in Hamburg in February 2018 and his disappearance received national attention. For over two months Liam's family and friends, supported by many local Hamburg residents, searched for clues to his disappearance until sadly Liam’s body was recovered from the river Elbe in April 2018.
Now his family and friends have established the Liam Colgan Music Fund, which has a strong working partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands, to provide access, progress and legacy for people, who are looking for opportunities in the music industry on both the performance and production levels.
Respected musicians Iain Clark and Roger Niven have worked with Liam’s father Brian to create the music fund which will be focused on creative industries in the Highlands and Islands. There will also be a special supporters group called ‘Friends of the Liam Colgan Music Fund’ with Liam’s mother Patricia as its Honorary President.
Brian Colgan said: "Our family and Liam’s friends were devastated by his untimely death. We wanted to find a way of ensuring that something positive came out of this devastation. We had already established the ‘University of the Highlands and Islands Liam Colgan Music Student Awards’ and we were delighted when others, agreed to get involved to help set up this new charity, bringing additional ideas and highlighting opportunities to do more in this field. The new music fund will look to find ways of helping people to realise ambitions in the world of music whilst at the same time adding to Liam’s legacy. We are grateful to the university for the continued support for our aims and their commitment which has been outstanding.”
Iain Clark, one of the founding Trustees of the fund said: “These Covid-19 times have shown how important communities regard music but at the same time have greatly curtailed the industry, with venues closed and curfews on performances. We have also seen how music can be restorative in a time where many young people in particular, are feeling deeply isolated and anxious about the future. Hopefully, we will be able to support and assist young musicians and create opportunities for them to make some milestones on the way to achieving their music dreams.”
Alison Wilson, Head of Development at the University of the Highlands and Islands added:
“We are delighted to be working with the new fund which has already provided opportunities for our students to develop and enhance their songwriting and performing skills with two annual music awards. We believe our strong partnership will produce many more such opportunities to honour the memory of Liam who will now be remembered for helping other music students, and supporting our region and its communities following the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Liam Colgan Music Fund has a number of supporters including Rory Macdonald of famous Scottish band Runrig. He said: "At times like these, it has never been more vital to support our young people, doing whatever we can to encourage and uphold them. The Liam Colgan Music Fund is such a welcome, important initiative – born out of great sadness – but one that opens a door on to the healing power of music."
The Fund will announce its first money raising project in November. The aim will be to raise cash that will allow for more projects in 2021.