Supporting local with comedy
By Nick Zacharias
PHOTO COURTESY KEN DORAN
Irish-born Fiona O’Brien (pictured), along with Joey Elias (Everyday Joe on Global), Rodney Ramsey (Just for Laughs), Leonard Yelle (Almost Irish), Abdul Butt (This hour has 22 minutes) and Harrison Weib, will bring her hard-hitting comedy to a 90-minute show to support local area charities.
Saint-Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and much like last year, the pandemic has put a damper on public gatherings (which is, traditionally, what Saint-Paddy’s celebrations are all about). Even if there can’t be a parade, or any late-night jigging and reeling with a Celtic band in a local pub, there’s a new way to have some Irish-themed fun this year. This Saturday, March 13, organizers Charity Promotions and Trentadue Entertainment are presenting an online comedy extravaganza – partnered with 18 local pubs and restaurants and 15 local charities – and all in a safe, COVID-friendly way that will bring big laughs, help the community, and satisfy appetites all at the same time.
“It’s called Local Supporting Locals,” said organizer Ken Doran of the Soulanges Irish Society, “and it’s all about helping the community.” The idea is to boost support for area restaurants, which in turn are supporting a number of local charities of their choosing.
“For every takeout or delivery order that’s called in directly to participating restaurants and pubs on Saturday, $5 will go straight to a local charity that’s based in the community.” A full list of participating restaurants and their chosen local charities is available online at localsupportinglocals.ca. On top of that, people ordering any time before then will get a promo code for $5 off the price of a ticket for the comedy show. “After the ticket sales, we’ll put another $5 per ticket in a pool to be divided equally among the non-profits we’ve partnered with,” says Doran.
PHOTO COURTESY KEN DORAN
Joey Elias (Everyday Joe on Global) will join an all-star crew of comedians March 13 for a 90-minute extravaganza that will support local pubs and restaurants and raise much-needed funds for local charities.
A night to laugh out loud
“The comedy show is going to be hilarious,” says Doran. There will be six different comedians and several well-known hosts keeping the laughs going for over 90 minutes on Saturday night starting at 8:30 p.m. “Our headliner is Fiona O’Brien, who comes from an Irish Catholic background in Dublin and moved to Toronto. She’s absolutely merciless.” Doran warns this isn’t going to be some sort of kids’ show – even from the comfort of your own home (on YouTube, viewable on your computer or devices or smart TV) he says, “There will definitely be some blushing faces.”
Helping close to home
All the laughs will be coming in the name of a great cause. Says Doran, “Smaller local charities have been unable to properly raise funds for an entire year, so this is a way to help them out, which is really important because they’re the ones helping families and individuals in need right here in our area.”
On top of helping charities, Local Supporting Locals will help generate business for local restaurants and pubs, who have certainly struggled over the past 12 months. Says Doran, “This will encourage people to order takeout directly and really support their local restaurants. Just remember these are the same ones that have been supporting you all along by making great food, by sponsoring your kids’ sports teams, by always giving back to the community they serve.”
The advantage of an online show is there’s no limit to the size of the venue, so all the participants are hoping to see a huge turnout. The show airs Saturday, March 13, and tickets and a complete list of participating restaurants and charities along with all the details about the heavy-hitting comedy are available at localsupportinglocals.ca.