Comics stage Toronto benefit for flood-stricken Alberta
Hogtown Supports Cowtown show includes comics from across Canada
Ron James, Elvira Kurt, Ryan Belleville and other top Canadian comics and performers have gathered in Toronto for a charity benefit to support Alberta flood relief.
The Hogtown Supports Cowtown benefit takes place at the Gladstone Hotel in downtown Toronto Monday night. It's the brainchild of Calgary-born comedy pair the Rumoli Brothers, aka siblings Brandon and Kurt Firla.
"When you know the geography so well and you grew up in that city and you know the neighbourhoods — you have friends there — it's hard to watch," Brandon Firla told CBC News.
After the pair learned their older brother, a carpenter and home renovation contractor in Calgary, had volunteered his time helping with the clean-up efforts, they wanted to lend a hand as well.
"We could go to people's basements and just tell jokes, but that wouldn't really help the matter. We thought if we could raise some money with an event, send it to some Alberta charities, that would do some good," said Kurt Firla. "It feels important to help somehow, even though we're across the country."
The evening will include comedy and musical sets from Alberta-born performers such as Gavin Crawford, Matt Baram and Terra Hazelton. Also making appearances via taped messages are Sean Cullen, Colin Mochrie, Gordon Pinsent, Deb McGrath, Peter Keleghan, Leah Pinsent, Joe Dinicol, Naomi Snieckus and others.
Proceeds from Monday night's show go to the Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund.
Tickets for Hogtown Supports Cowtown are "Donate What You Can" (with a suggested donation of $20/person). The show begins at 9pm ET in The Gladstone Hotel ballroom in Toronto.