The 2018 edition of Ride for Dad Comedy Night returns to the Yukon Convention Centre on January 19 and 20.
Celebrating it’s fifth year, the comedy gala has grown into its own as one of Ride for Dad Yukon’s premier fundraising events.
Since it’s inception the event has helped Ride for Dad Yukon raise tens of thousands of dollars for the continued research and awareness of prostate cancer.
Roughly half of the proceeds from fundraisers like the comedy nights are put back into awareness campaigns while the rest is invested into the Yukon community.
“We have put about half of our money each year away to work towards building enough to invest in research and treatment options for Yukon men. The comedy nights have brought in about as much fundraising as our ride day,” said vice chair Sean Secord.
The comedy event was created by the Ride for Dad Yukon board as a way to broaden their scope of prostate awareness to a wider group of Yukoners.
“Five years ago, the board was discussing how to include Yukoners not connected to motorcycles and how to extend what Ride for Dad does to be year-round, and what would help in the dark days of winter,” said Secord. “The obvious answer was comedy.”
According to Prostate Cancer Canada one in seven Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Their statistics show in 2017 that an estimated 21,300 men will have been diagnosed with the disease and 4,100 men will die from it.
It also states that prostate cancer has been declining by 3.3 per cent since 2001, which inspires Ride for Dad Yukon to keep putting on quality events like the comedy nights.
“Cancer is not funny. However, participating in an event that helps raise money and awareness toward preventing and beating cancer is exhilarating” said Secord. “The entertainment has always been top-notch, and we still manage to get in some awareness information as well as some recognition to our board, volunteers, and sponsors – without whom we could not do this.”
For the show’s fifth anniversary, Ride for Dad Yukon decided to splurge a bit and hired two top Canadian comic headliners Dave Hemstad and Katie-Ellen Humphries to perform.
“It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the Yukon,” Hemstad said. “I’m certainly excited to be coming back. This sounds like it’s going to be a great event, for a great cause. And Katie-Ellen is a really fun person and comedian who I respect a great deal.”
Katie-Ellen Humphries, who is a CBC Debaters regular and a feature performer at the Just For Laughs Winnipeg and Halifax comedy festivals, is also excited to return to the Yukon.
“This will be my third Ride for Dad Comedy Night and having had a chance to be part of the actual ride this summer, I got to see the incredible community and impact of the event first hand,” Humphries said.
“It means a lot to me to be asked back and to be able to, in a small way, help contribute to the wonderful Ride for Dad fundraising efforts and to raising awareness of important men’s health issues. I adore Whitehorse and am thrilled to be returning to the Yukon, this time with Dave Hemstad, a personal favourite and one of the top acts in the country. I can’t wait.”
Yukon comedians Jenny Hamilton and James Boyle will be rounding out the event offering the audience a local taste of comedy. Hamilton has had a breakout year in her stand-up career with her performance on The Debaters in Vancouver on Nov 22, and Boyle continues to turn heads and make a name for himself.
With the success of their comedy nights, Ride for Dad Yukon will keep rolling down the fundraising highway.
“We intend to continue to put on quality events… to benefit Yukon men and families who may be healthier – or even alive – because of our efforts and successes,” Secord said.
Ride for Dad Comedy Night takes place Friday, January 19 and Saturday, January 20 at the Yukon Convention Centre, which is located at 4051-4th Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available online at RFDcomedy.bpt.me.