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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Irwin update

Half the fun of this blog is watching my Site Meter to see how people arrive here. Here are some recent Google searches that directed unsuspecting readers our way:
  • "funny job interview mistakes blogspot" (from Manila)
  • "johnny carson luckiest person in the world love" (from an unknown American city)
  • "brent butt not funny" (from some lost soul in Toronto)
  • "jon dore homosexual" (from Brampton)
But one of the most common searches is for Irwin Barker, the former local comic who's been battling terminal cancer for a couple of years now. Someone from Winnipeg Googled "how is irwin barker" yesterday. When I corresponded with him last month, he said he was still hanging in there. Well, today I got a press release from the River Rock, which can only be good news for Barker fans. In an effort to pander to more potential readers, here it is:






Richmond, BC For the second year, River Rock Casino Resort will be presenting “Irwin Barker & Friends: Fighting Cancer With Comedy” … a hilarious evening of stand-up with all proceeds going to the Richmond Hospital Foundation. Irwin Barker is a Gemini nominated comedy writer and performer who is well known in the Vancouver comedy scene. He is currently a staff writer on CBC’s award-winning Rick Mercer Report. Prior to that, he spent several years as a writer for CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

In June 2007, Irwin was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare type of terminal cancer. Since then, he has been actively involved as an inspirational speaker on how he has used humour as a vital coping mechanism in his personal fight against cancer. He has been a headline performer at numerous cancer fundraisers as well as a keynote speaker for conferences dealing with cancer and palliative care. His first year of cancer treatment was the subject of a nationally televised CTV documentary, That’s My Time. The documentary debuted at the Halifax Film Festival in September 2008 where it was selected as Best Canadian Film. The reaction to Irwin’s presentations on comedy and cancer has been overwhelmingly positive seeing it as a “perfect combination of humour and reflection.” In Irwin’s own words, “Cancer has my body but not my spirit and I’ll continue to make jokes ... not so much about cancer but in spite of it.”

Proceeds from the event will go towards the Richmond Hospital Foundation’s $4 million MRI Campaign. “We are so close, over 90% raised,” says Lisa Westermark, Executive Director. “We just need a little more to reach our goal and provide MRI service in Richmond Hospital. Together we can reduce wait times, improve access and allow for consultation between radiologists and specialists. In short, we can transform care for our community.” The show will also feature comedians from across Canada including local comic Graham Clark who can currently be seen on Citytv’s The CityNews List, triple Gemini winner Tim Steeves and Toronto's own Tim Rykert who recently toured throughout North America as the opening act for Michael Bublé along with a few surprise guests.


DOORS: 7:00 PM SHOW: 8:00 PM

Tickets: $24.50 (+ Service Charge & Facility Fee) – Cabaret Seating

Tickets available at all Ticketmaster Outlets or charge-by-phone (604) 280-4444

or order on-line at

Ages 19 years and over

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