The Alberni Valley Lions Club will be bringing an award-winning entertainer to Port Alberni in order to raise funds for Valley youth.
Valdy is a Canadian folk and country singer-songwriter whose solo career began in the early 1970s. He is no stranger to Port Alberni, having performed at Char’s Landing earlier this year.
Now, he will be returning to Port Alberni on Thursday, Oct. 3 for a concert benefitting the Alberni Valley Lions Club.
The Lions Club’s main source of revenue has always been their annual TV auction. This year, the auction (which is scheduled for Nov. 28) will be streaming online only.
“We decided to diversify [our fundraising] a bit,” explained Ron Metcalfe of the Alberni Valley Lions. “We don’t know what kinds of dollars will be coming out of the auction.”
The Lions Club hopes that the concert will “relieve some of the pressure” on the auction, he added.
Valdy, who is a Lion himself, is the winner of two Juno Awards for Folk Singer of the Year and Folk Entertainer of the Year. He has received seven additional Juno nominations, and his 14 albums have sold nearly half a million copies. He was also presented with an Order of Canada in 2011.
Metcalfe said he is hoping for a “decent crowd” on Thursday. The club will need 120 people attending the show in order to break even. Char’s Landing has a maximum capacity of 120 people, so the Lions Club decided to move the show to the Alberni District Secondary School Theatre, which has a maximum capacity of 500.
“We’re hoping to fall somewhere in that gap between 120 and 500,” said Metcalfe.
The concert will specifically target youth in the Alberni Valley. Between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the Lions Club raised $17,050 for youth-oriented activities and programs, including bursaries, school food programs, school sports programs, cheerleader assistance, literacy programs, the Heritage Fair, Stock the Locker, Camp Shawnigan and the Model UN. The club also picks up the costs for activities such as the children’s bullhead derby and school-based vision screening.
“Almost all of it stays in the Valley,” said Metcalfe.
If the concert is a success, said Metcalfe, the club will plan to hold another one next year with a different artist.
The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the ADSS Theatre. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Echo Centre and the Rollin Art Centre, as well as online at www.eventbrite.ca. Tickets will also be available at the door.
There will be a social at Char’s Landing after the concert, which will give members of the public an opportunity to socialize with Valdy and members of the Alberni Valley Lions Club.