After a powerful post-tropical storm swept through Atlantic Canada last month, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, a number of entertainers are coming together to raise funds and send Fiona a heartfelt message: frig off.
It’s been more than a month since Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia, but many in Cape Breton are still feeling its impacts as the island continues cleanup efforts.
Sunday evening, a group of Nova Scotia entertainers will perform at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay for the Rise Together! fundraiser, with all proceeds going toward the Canadian Red Cross Fiona relief fund. So far, Rise Together! has raised more than $40,000 for the cause.
The event has already sold out, but people can still donate and sign up to attend a livestream.
Cape Breton singer-songwriter Heather Rankin, one of the performers who will be taking part, said she was in the Mabou area of Cape Breton when Fiona hit.
“The water levels rose and came in very close to the highway that goes through Mabou,” Rankin told Global News Morning.
“It did some damage, for sure, but not like on the other side of the island. It’s devastating to see some of the pictures of the destruction that Fiona brought to so many people.
“At the end of the day, the most important things in life are our family, people we love, and the roof over our heads. And when that is affected, it’s devastating.”
That’s why people were so quick to jump on board when Glace Bay comedian Ron James called up Kim Hendrickson, president and owner of Premier Entertainment Group, the day after the storm to suggest a relief event, Rankin said.
“People are just excited to be able to do something to help,” she said.
The event will feature Ron James, Jimmy Rankin, The Barra MacNeils, Men of the Deeps, Clifton Cremo, Bette MacDonald, Maynard Morrison, and The Island Girls, who are made up of Heather Rankin, Bette MacDonald, Lucy MacNeil and Jenn Sheppard.
“There’s so much talent that they could have done three different shows,” said Rankin. “There’s just enough time for everybody to do a couple of songs, and then it’s on to the next.”
Rankin added that the Government of Canada is matching all donations made to the Canadian Red Cross Fiona relief fund until Oct. 31.
“It’s our chance to make a little contribution to a big issue,” she said.
“There are many people who are making a small contribution, but together we’re going to have a big impact. So any little amount you can donate will make a big difference.”