Over the past year, local businesses and arts groups have come together in unexpected ways to support each other and the community. Celebrate Local, a virtual fundraiser, honours this comradery by bringing together local music, sketch and food to support Sara Riel Inc. on March 20.
There are two ways to support the fundraiser on Eventbrite: buying a Celebrate Local video link for $9.50, including fees, or adding one of several video-link-and-meal combos from St. James Burger & Chip Co. to an order.
Sara Riel Inc. is a non-profit, government-funded service organization that offers free, community-based mental-health services. Fundraising allows them more flexibility outside of grant-funded services, Cameron Tindall, manager of mental health services, says.
There have been a lot of shifts in what the organization does and the accessibility of their programming due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, making it a weird time for fundraising. It’s like “fundraising in anticipation that things are going to go wrong,” and the organization will need to adapt, Danielle Lester, community connections co-ordinator, says.
The fundraiser is hosted by Lester and Tindall and features music from acoustic folk musician Raine Hamilton, duo James and Sarah Buckboro, singer-songwriter Lindsay Fialka and country singer Frannie Klein.
Ciera Fredborg, Carly Rackal, Tessa Jenkyns and Olivia Raine are University of Winnipeg alumni who make up the sketch group Not My Favourite Daughter. They will be featured alongside other local favourites HUNKS and Club Soda.
It’s been tough with COVID and contrasting schedules for Not My Favourite Daughter to create, but they’re “making it work,” and the group’s been producing and releasing content on a monthly basis, Jenkyns says.
Fredborg and Raine are in each other’s social bubbles and creating under the name CC and Ollie. “We’ve just been playing around, and we thought, ‘(let’s) take advantage of this time,”’ Raine says.
Not My Favourite Daughter has kept their content lighthearted, short and sweet during the pandemic, so folks can watch and share with friends they normally see live comedy with, Freborg says.
Not My Favourite Daughter’s sketch for the fundraiser centres around a Zoom book club reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but one of the women accidentally reads the wrong book.
“It’s really nice to (share) the virtual stage with a lot of names that we would normally be sharing a physical stage with, because it’s at least one step closer to doing what we were doing before,” Rackal says.
Lester and Tindall had a lot of fun putting the pre-recorded show together. The video is formatted like a late-night talk show with comedy and musical guests.
“Not a lot of people know we exist, but we have a huge impact,” Lester says, adding she’d love those watching the fundraiser to discover and take advantage of their services.
“Who doesn’t love connecting over a good meal or over good comedy or over good music? Those are sort of the natural things I think a lot of people bond over,” Lester says.
Published in Volume 75, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 17, 2021)