TRURO: If you’re still having a hard time finding that last gift, you may want to hear what the Colchester East Hants Hospice Society has in its bag of goodies.
The not-for-profit organization has just announced that Brent Butt, star of the hit-television series Corner Gas, will be performing at You’ll Die Laughing 2017.
The event will take place on May 5 at the Cobequid Educational Centre. And Butt won’t be coming along. He will be joined by special guest, Bill Car.
“You’ll Die Laughing is proud to be celebrating five years of great Canadian, family friendly, comedy,” said Craig Johnson, executive director of the Colchester East Hants Hospice Society. “Brent Butt, the creator of Corner Gas was the obvious choice. We’re also excited to bring Bill Carr back for our fifth year. Bill was with us in year one with Rick Mercer, and it’s exciting to have him back in 2017.”
Butt was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. He discovered early on that being funny was a good way to get attention. He honed his comedy in school and at the age of 20 moved to the city to pursue a career in stand-up. Within months he was headlining top clubs in Toronto, and within a couple years he was touring internationally and appearing at major festivals.
His television specials quickly secured his reputation as one of the funniest people in the country, but he was also busy creating his own TV series – Corner Gas. It became an instant hit with unprecedented ratings and numerous accolades including an International Emmy Award nomination, and was named “Funniest Show on TV” by TV Guide readers.
Canada’s favourite comedy is now shown in over 26 countries including the US. The final episode of the series was the highest (rated) on record for a Canadian scripted series since it began keeping track in 1994.
In 2013, Butt was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to community and country. That same year Brent’s first feature film entitled, ‘No Clue’ and directed by Carl Bessai was released. Butt wrote, starred in and produced the film under his Sparrow Media banner.
Recently the highly anticipated feature film ‘Corner Gas: The Movie’ saw the entire cast reunite and return rabid fans of the show along with new fans to Dog River. The movie received a special Golden Screen Award at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards recognizing the projects stellar ratings and ‘most watched’ status.
When it came to reaching out, Johnson says the response the hospice society received was exciting.
“The response was very enthusiastic,” he said. “If you consider the names we’ve had here since we started – Rick Mercer, Colin Mochrie, Debra McGrath, Bill Carr, Ron James, and The Debaters Live – You’ll Die Laughing has developed a reputation as a great event in support of a vital cause.”
Carr is an actor, award winning satirist, writer, speaker and coach. For over 25 years, he has been making people laugh at what’s trivial while helping them think deeply about what counts. Carr helps people see their world in new and exciting ways. His unique blend of humour and insight inspires laughter and consideration.
He recently published his first book, ‘Acting Up: Lessons from the Theatre of Life’ and continues to be active in his art with a recent recurring role in Spike TV’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Mist” scheduled for release in 2017.
Together with his wife Gola, Carr is cofounder of the Atlantic Restorative Company (ARC), a social entrepreneurship focused on creating space for authentic human exchange, communication and coaching. He is based in both Halifax and Toronto.
The Colchester East Hants Hospice Society provides care and support to families as they face serious illness, death and grief. Hospice volunteers and professionals work closely with the Palliative Care team in putting the patient at the centre and in control of his or her own life and care.
By delivering psychological, social, spiritual and practical support, Hospice promotes quality of living and quality of dying.
A registered charity, Hospice relies on the support of a generous community to fund all programs and receives no direct government funding. Hospice operations are entirely funded by private donations, bequests, fundraisers, and community grants. All funds raised from You’ll Die Laughing will benefit crucial Hospice programs.
Johnson says the society is pleased to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of You’ll Die Laughing with Butt on the stage.
“People can expect the Brent Butt all Canadians have come to know and love,” said Johnson. “It’s the same smart brand of humour that has made Corner Gas not only a Canadian favourite, but a sitcom that is shown in over 26 countries.”
Looking over the list of performers, Johnson says he believes word is starting to spread about You’ll Die Laughing, not just with those who attend the event but those who perform as well.
“The list of YDL alumni speaks for itself. When I talk to mangers and promoters they often make note of the history,” Johnson continued. “As a small non-profit, we’re quite proud to be celebrating five years of hosting top Canadian talent.”
Tickets for You’ll Die Laughing 2017 with Brent Butt and Bill Carr are now available from www.ticketpro.ca, 1-888-311-9090, and all Ticketpro outlets. Ticket price is $37.50.
The night will include a pre-event reception beginning at 5 p.m. Doors to the auditorium will open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m.