Elk River Alliance hosts comedy night

The Fernie Community Centre will be home to the Crafty Comedy Night hosted by the Elk River Alliance (ERA) at 8 p.m. on July 30.

The Fernie Community Centre will be home to the Crafty Comedy Night hosted by the Elk River Alliance (ERA) at 8 p.m. on July 30. Tickets are available for $30 in advance and $35 at the door. The profits of the event will go toward supporting the Alliance and their initiatives that go to sustaining the areas watersheds.

Ayla Bennett, Program Manager of Education and Water Monitoring with the ERA told The Free Press that the idea for a comedy night was because the ERA wanted to attract people that were beyond their core support group. The idea was conceived in the fall of 2015 and has been in planning since January.

The event will have three comedians, who were recommended by the talent agency that the ERA booked through.

“Our headliner is Ken Valgardson, who is a retired teacher and has been doing stand-up for 30 years. He’s been called the ‘funniest teacher in Canada’. He is from rural Alberta. Dan Clark is an English comedian and musician. He has starred in the BBC 3 sitcom “How Not to Live Your Life” – which he also directed and co-produced,” said Bennett. “Our emcee for the evening will be Drew Behm, an enthusiastic, positive and hilarious comedian who was been a finalist in every comedy competition he’s entered. Drew travels all around North America, but is from Edmonton. All three have some great YouTube clips, which you can access through the ERA website.”

The event will give the ERA some of their own funds enabling the group to rely less on grants and give the group a better chance to continue their programming. The funding can also be used to leverage funding through grants, according to Bennett.

“The profits of the event will support our on-going community-based water monitoring efforts on Lizard and Alexander Creeks. Since most of ERA’s funding comes from grants, it is difficult to plan for on-going programs as we may not know until just before the program starts,” she said.

Bennett and the ERA have had an exciting year – recently completing the Elk River Flood Strategy; the next step for the strategy is implementation.

“We’ve been working on [it] for the last three years. This proactive, holistic, watershed wide strategy is the result of consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, governments and community, and maps a way forward toward water sustainability,” she said. “It came about through an identified need to better understand the hydrology and behaviour of the watershed, future effects of land use and climate change and flood management strategies that would effectively protect people and critical infrastructure, as well as protect watershed function and wildlife habitat.”

While Bennett believes that the event will be a highlight in the ERA’s event year, she added that it certainly isn’t the only one and went on to underscore some of the other events on the ERA’s calendar.

“Every year we participate in the Elk River shoreline clean-up where we coordinate teams of volunteers who clean hundreds of kilometres along the Elk River – from Elkford to Elko; the event takes place on BC Rivers Day. This year it will be on Sept. 25th. The ERA just completed our high-flow water monitoring on Lizard and Alexander Creeks in the end of June.”

More information on the event and the ERA, including where to get advanced tickets can be found through the group’s website, Elkriveralliance.ca.