Gold Rush provides fire relief

Benefit performance fundraiser for Fire Relief Fund

Locals and evacuees looking to kick up their heels and enjoy some entertainment for a good cause will have a chance on Wednesday, Aug. 9.

The Newman &Wright Theatre Company will be bringing the Theatre Royal of Barkerville to 100 Mile House for a benefit concert.

The company will be performing Mrs. McGinley’s Gold Rush Variety Show at the 100 Mile House Community Hall on Aug. 9.

“When the fires started we thought we’re not firefighters and we’re not police officers, but what we can do is entertain people,” says Richard Wright, producer.

“We started reaching out to try and set up some tours to basically entertain the folks who are evacuated or under stress and to help the communities raise some funds for fire relief.”

Admission will be by cash donation at the door to the South Cariboo Fire Relief Fund. The Fire Relief Fund is set up at the Williams Lake &District Credit Union, 100 Mile House Branch, for those who are unable to make it or who wish to contribute extra.

“From its beginnings in 1869 [Theatre Royal] has done benefits for families, in particular in the historic sense,” says Wright. After the Cache Creek floods in 2015, the company performed in 100 Mile House to raise money for that community.

The show will be a variety show with singing, dancing and comedy. Wright says it’s about an hour long.

Mrs. McGinley was a character who performed in Barkerville in the 1870s. The variety show has been a staple of Barkerville’s Theatre Royal stage, with a different line up of skits and performances yearly.

“If they want to just come out and have an evening of entertainment and support their fire relief fund, then we would encourage them to come out,” says Wright

Wright says that Barkerville is still open, although they do have a little smoke. Attendance, however, has suffered due to the wildfires. Still, performing benefit concerts is a staple of the theatre.

“We are doing this to support the community and in particular the people who have either been evacuated or lost their homes or their cattle,” says Wright.

“It’s our way of trying to pay back the communities that support us.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. at the 100 Mile House Community Hall. Admission is by donation to the South Cariboo Fire Relief Fund.