Comedy show makes light of flood
Arts: Jebb Finks charity event at Black Diamond Hotel on Sept. 20 to help relief efforts
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 08:38 am
A Calgary comedian intends to bring laughter to citizens in two communities who had little to smile about this summer.
Comedian Jebb Fink is going to make light of a not-so-funny situation in a benefit concert to raise money to help Black Diamond and Turner Valley residents impacted by last spring’s flood. The comedy show takes place at the Black Diamond Hotel on Sept. 20 at 9 p.m.
“There is comedy in everything, even tragedies,” said Fink. “You kind of have to find a way to laugh at what’s happened and look at some of the good things that are going on. I know it’s hard for people.”
Dozens of merchants and residents in low lying areas in Black Diamond and Turner Valley suffered damage to their homes and businesses when the Sheep River swelled its banks and flooded portions of both communities on June 20.
People lost possessions and are faced with the expense of renovating basements and main levels filled with mud and mould.
Fink offered to perform benefit concerts in his own community, but when he had no response from Calgary he turned his attention to Black Diamond, which he passed through on several trips to the United States.
“I’ve heard that they weren’t getting a lot of attention so I called and set it up,” he said. “It sounded like they weren’t getting much help and I thought I would like to help. I hope we fill the place up and then some, and raise a bunch of money and help some people out.”
Fink invited fellow comedians Brad Muise, James Moore and Serena Williams to join the show and said ticket-holders can expect some fun to be poked at the flood.
“All good humour comes from tragedy, which is kind of bizarre, but it does,” he said. Although his own Calgary home wasn’t affected by flooding, Fink said he has friends whose homes were damaged.
“We have a friend who lives over by the Stampede grounds where the entire parking garage was flooded,” he said.
Black Diamond Hotel owner Sandy Colson said she is thrilled to have Fink perform and hopes his show brings in $6,000 for those in need. She said it hasn’t been determined yet how the money will be doled out.
“We are so looking forward to having him here and we are hoping everybody will come out and support it,” she said. “I’m thrilled because we will be able to give the money locally. That’s what’s most important, for those of us who didn’t get hurt to help those who did get hurt.”
In addition to collecting cash donations since the flood hit, Colson contacted the owners of Diamond Valley Clothing Company asking them to create t-shirts to raise money for flood victims.
For the past month, hotel staff sold grey t-shirts with the words “Flood, sweat and tears” for $20 each and Colson said she hopes to see the sales total $4,000.
“I told my staff if they want to wear their t-shirts instead of the uniform until the concert that’s fine with us,” she said. “This means so much to us to help the community. So many people were hurt by the loss of property and damage from the flood.”
Cougars Sports Bar co-owner Lori Collins spent two hours collecting money from local businesses to pay the overhead costs of the t-shirts so all proceeds could go to flood victims. She collected $800 in two hours.
“I just spoke to all of the local businesses and everybody understood what was going on and wanted to reach out to help people in the community,” she said. “I knew that it would only take a little bit of effort going out and talking to people. All business owners in the area understand because we’re all affected.”
Collins even had patrons of Cougars asking how they could help out, whether they were from the area or not.
“A man from St. John’s overheard me talking about it to one of my customers (and made a donation),” she said. “With this big flood we had, it reminded people what community is all about and how we have to be there for each other. We like the fact that money is going to local people who need it.”
Tickets to see Jebb Fink’s comedy show are available at the Black Diamond Hotel for $25 for advance tickets and $30 at the door.