As most of you know, our 3-year-old son Eric, while on vacation in PEI in July, suffered a major stroke. He has worked hard in the months since and has made an amazing recovery. The extent of his recovery, and ours as a family, is due in large part to the amazing people at Bloorview Kids Rehab - http://www.bloorview.ca. Eric checked into Bloorview as an inpatient upon his return to Toronto in August, and in September was moved into the Day Program, in which he lived at home, but visited Bloorview 5 days a week for intensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The people at Bloorview have been wonderful and have helped us through some very tough times.
We had been involved with Bloorview even before Eric's stroke, as he received weekly therapy there and attended the Bloorview Nursery School in Scarborough (he returned to Nursery School this week after 6 months away and is thrilled to be back with his teachers, who are incredibly caring people). So Bloorview has been a part of our lives for a while, and we see it as a very important part of our family, and of the community.
I wanted to give something back to the people at Bloorview, for everything they have done for us and for countless other families whose lives have been turned upside-down. So, I have organized the "Laughs for Possibility" comedy showcase in support of Bloorview Kids Rehab. The show, sponsored by Tim Hortons in Sussex, NB (yes, Sussex, NB - more on that later) will be held on Tuesday, January 20 at 8:30 PM at Absolute Comedy Club, 2335 Yonge Street in Toronto (just North of Eglinton).
Laughs for Possibility will be hosted by one of Toronto's favourite comedy MCs, Jason Blanchard (www.jasonblanchard.com), and will feature several of Canada's best stand-up comedians (plus me) each telling 10 minutes worth of jokes. The line up is:
Tim Steeves (www.timsteeves.ca) - writer on The Rick Mercer Report, appearances on Just for Laughs, Halifax Comedy Festival and more
Kenny Robinson (www.myspace.com/fabulouskennyrobinson) - the Nubian Disciples All Black Comedy Revue, Just for Laughs and more
Darren Frost (www.comedywhore.com) - Just for Laughs, Hairspray (the movie) and more
Dini Dimakos (www.dinidimakos.com) - Much Music's Video On Trial, Stars Gone Wild and more
Marc Trinidad (www.marctrinidad.com) - BET, The Comedy Network and more
(Note that this is an uncensored show, and a couple of the performers are known for edgy styles - while the show is in support of kids, it's for adults only)
Tickets are $30 each, and you can buy them at www.LiveComedyEverywhere.com using your credit card or PayPal account. Book soon, because there are limited seats and this show will sell out in advance.
Plus, when you visit www.LiveComedyEverywhere.com, you have the option to also buy a ticket to send a parent of an inpatient kid at Bloorview to the show. Trust me, as someone who lived at Bloorview for a month, the parents need a chance to get out and have a laugh (no matter how amazing the centre is!) If enough tickets are purchased to cover all of the inpatient parents, we will offer the rest to Day Program parents, Nursery School parents, and outpatient parents.
Why is a comedy show in Toronto being sponsored by Tim Hortons in Sussex, NB, 1,500 km away? The franchisees in Sussex are my wife, Jodi's parents, and they have visited Bloorview a number of times with Eric and are amazed every time they go there. When they heard I was looking for a corporate sponsor to cover some of the up-front costs of this show, they jumped on board. Maybe most of the audience won't be regular customers, but who knows when any of you you'll be passing through beautiful New Brunswick? Besides, between myself and Tim Steeves, there are two Sussex natives on the show, so it's practically "Sussex takes Toronto!"
I hope to see some of you there, supporting the place that we have come to know as one of the most amazing places anywhere. And feel free to spread the word to any of your friends and family that you think might be interested in a show like this. With that lineup, Laughs for Possibility promises to be a major highlight on Toronto's comedy calendar for 2009.