Vocalists sing their hearts out on CD for the missing women:

Tribute portrays vivid images from desperate lives and conveys a powerful message on the nature of life and luck

The Vancouver Sun
Kim Bolan; With files from David Reevely

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

A musical tribute to Vancouver's missing women recorded on CD will be on sale at A & B Sound later this week.

CREDIT: Frank Gunn, Canadian Press

David Usher, seen here with his MuchMusic Award, is on the CD

The CD features the song The Streets Where You Live, written by Gary Durban, Wyckham Porteous and John Ellis, and inspired by the lives of the 61 women who have disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in recent years.

Proceeds from the CD, which was produced by the non-profit Buried Heart Society, will go to a transition house for drug-addicted sex-trade workers being developed by a group called the Via Nova Society.

The lyrics to The Streets Where You Live touch on some of the most vivid images of the worst-off residents of the Downtown Eastside.

All the women ghostlike with tracks and four-inch heels, sings Toronto-based singer-songwriter Sarah Slean in a delicate, soaring voice.

As we offer up excuses like we offer up a deal.

I would buy a rock of happiness if I knew where happiness is, joins in David Usher of the rock group Moist.

Credit: Canadian Press files

Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy are among 79 vocalists with credits on The Streets Where you live.

The lyrics don't shy away from the perception that authorities' initial lack of interest in the case was based on racism, given that many of the missing women are aboriginal:

It's skin that we all radiate

It's the measure of our worth

comes twice, along with a reminder that the difference between a comfortable life and an early death can easily be a matter of luck:

We could all be lost and drowning

Buried in this shallow earth.

Buried Heart Society member Elaine Allan was at Port Coquitlam provincial court for an appearance of accused serial killer Robert Pickton Tuesday with several copies of the CD, called Buried Heart.

CREDIT: Canadian Press files

Bif Naked is among 79 vocalists with credits on The Streets Where you Live.  

Allan, who knew many of the missing women when she worked at a Downtown Eastside drop-in centre, said she is thrilled with the CD and hopes many people will buy it for Christmas.

"Music is such a powerful medium," she said. "This music is so beautiful that I cry whenever I hear it. It will bring awareness and healing."

The song is also on the hugely popular annual Christmas CD Women and Music and available at regular music outlets.

Among those featured on the song are Vancouver blues-rocker Colin James, Bif Naked, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, John Wozniak of Marcy Playground and the Be Good Tanyas.

Each of them takes turns singing, We Are The World-style, while the others sing backup as a chorus. The liner notes credit a total of 79 vocalists.

Porteous came up with the idea, wanting to do something after news reports earlier this year on the arrest of Pickton, who is now charged with killing 15 of the missing women.

Allan hopes to organize a tribute concert for the missing women at the B.C. Correctional Centre for Women in January.

Another CD related to the missing women has also been released, entitled Now That You're a Star.

Langley musician Steve David self-financed the CD, dedicated to the memory of Angela Jardine, one of the women whose remains have been discovered on Pickton's farm.

David once lived in Sparwood, where Jardine grew up and where her parents still live.

The proceeds of the CD are going to the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter.

Deborah Jardine, Angela's mother, said she appreciated David's efforts.

"He's a man with a big heart," she said.

The CD will be available at Save-On Foods and Overwaitea in the Lower Mainland, Cranbrook, Sparwood and Fernie, as well as some on Vancouver Island.  

Courtesy of



Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016