Toby Hargrave moved to Halfmoon Bay with his family two years ago, a refugee from the city, part of the great real estate wave. Before that, they lived in the West End in Vancouver where his daughter had her own room -- in a closet. Like others who moved here, more recently and in the past, Hargrave brought his own gifts – in his case a talent for comedy and a desire to be connected to his community.
Hargrave has performed at comedy clubs and festivals across North America and works in film and TV. Now he’s acting on a dream to do a series of shows on the Sunshine Coast with community in mind. With the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons, he’s organizing four shows, highlighting friends from the wide world of comedy. The first will be Oct. 6 with his good friend Charlie Demers headlining.
Hargrave says, “Charlie Demers is one of the best comics in Canada. He’s been to every major festival. His book, Property Values has been optioned for a script in Hollywood. He’s a deliriously funny man.”
The proceeds will go to the Arrowhead Clubhouse in Sechelt, which promotes recovery of persons with mental illness. Members of the Arrowhead board of directors will put on their funny hats to sell 50-50 tickets at the event.
How this came about is another example of how community works, Hargrave says. He was talking to a neighbour, who was talking to someone from Arrowhead, who said that the Clubhouse needed funds. Hargrave called Demers who thought it sounded great, and they were away.
Hargrave gets quite lyrical talking about his new community. For example: they were building a fairy garden at their new home. His wife and daughter had planted it and while they were inside someone dropped off a fairy; they still don’t know who. Or the day their son was born and the roof was leaking and the roofer came and patched it up and wouldn’t take anything for it. “I was gob smacked,” he says. He calls this “the muscle of community.”
Hargrave loves doing shows in the Heritage Playhouse after doing shows in bars over the years. He says there’s a sense of decorum in a theatre, people are attentive, the sound is good, and the seats all face the right way.
In November the headliner will be Ivan Decker, 2018 Juno winner for best comedy album, and the proceeds will go to the Food Bank. In January the SPCA will benefit. And the final show of the series will benefit a post-partum group. Hargrave will host all the shows with different headliners.
He says it would be great for the Comedy Club to be a regular thing. “If people come out and support the shows I can guarantee we’ll do more.”
Tickets for Oct. 6 are $20 at the door, or in advance at Laedeli Gifts in Gibsons, the Sechelt Visitor Centre, or online at share-there.com. Note the show is rated 18+.
– By Jane Covernton