It was all clownin’ around at the Stollery yesterday when the Streetfest performers came off the street and into youngsters’ hearts.
This was all part of Comedy Cares, an effort by Streetfest to bring smiles to people throughout Alberta, and now British Columbia, who are in hospitals and care facilities.
“For 25 years of our festival, we always made an effort to bring the laughter to where it is needed the most,” said artistic producer Shelley Switzer.
Sixteen-year-old Jayden Lenaigue said that he enjoyed the jugglers, the music, and his caretaker said that this is the first time he has seen Elvis, or at least an impersonator.
Smiles can sometimes be in short supply at the Stollery, as Jayden had his legs amputated because of lack of circulation, a heart transplant, and is waiting for a kidney transplant.
“Music can be extremely effective,” said Jan Streader, a.k.a. Mrs. Collywobbles, a comic performer who blew bubbles for the kids and showed off her pet (stuffed) wombat.
She said she has many stories of how people in hospital care have been uplifted by their acts, such as a man in a coma having response to music.
“Absolutely magic, you never forget these incredible moments,” said Streader.
“All of the best things come out of chaos,” she added. “Just be in the moment and let it happen.”
Streetfest organizers thanked the support of the Edmonton Community Foundation for helping with the Comedy Cares visits.