Yellowknife

Fundraiser for owners of houseboat destroyed by fire


“The community that sings together, clings together.”

This is the message a group of Old Towners hopes to share through a Saturday fundraising concert on behalf of a houseboat that burnt down in May.

“The event itself is primarily a fun-raiser, and is also a fundraiser," said Old Town Glassworks' Matthew Grogono – a fellow houseboater and one of the event's organizers.

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"We’re putting this event together to help one of our houseboat friends recover from the loss of their houseboat which burnt down in the spring."

Stephan and Allyce Hervieux lost their houseboat in the fire, on May 15. Two people in the houseboat at the time were able to escape, though one suffered burns.

Saturday's concert, at the Old Town Glassworks studio, will feature Earl McAuley, Pat Braden, Tracy Riley, and Andrea Bettger. The feature act is George Tuccaro alongside the Don't Give Up Your Day Job band.

An art auction will happen throughout the night, promoting local artists, alongside food and drinks.

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“When the idea came forward, there was a very positive, strong response without any hesitation, saying: let’s make this happen,” Grogono said.

Radio Taïga is sponsoring the event's liquor licence.

“The community in Old Town and the houseboaters, they’re always so strong together," said radio station representative Nicolas Servel. "Whenever something's happening, everybody’s there for the people.”

A March 2019 image contributed to Google Streetview by Jason Simpson shows the Kimberlite houseboat, centre, before the fire.

Grogono, remembering the night of the fire, praised the Old Town community.

“Initially, the very first day [after the fire], there was a huge amount of help from the community," he said. "Within 24 hours, all of the damaged material had been removed from the lake and disposed of at the landfill sites.

“The outcome of the fire is that the whole community got together that night and had a purpose to get together. Everyone was leaning and pulling together, and it was remarkable to see all these people mobilized spontaneously in a matter of six to eight hours.”

Servel concluded with the message: “Long live the community and long live the Kimberlite [the name of the houseboat]. Hopefully it will be reborn from its ashes.”

The concert is family-friendly. Entry costs $20 for adults, $15 seniors, and $10 for anyone under 19, and additional donations are encouraged.

Doors at Old Town Glassworks will open at 5pm, while food will be served between 6pm and 8pm, and the concert starts at 7:30pm.

All door and alcohol proceeds will go to the owners of the Kimberlite.

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