Friday, November 9, 2012

Big Mouth and Big Georges the big events in Barrie this week

The big US election is over, but there are some pretty “Big” events coming up in Barrie this week.
First is a special benefit for Barrie’s own “Big Mouth”, Dan Dunlop. I first caught Dan shortly after moving to Barrie in 1999, via his Rogers TV live call-in show. A few years later, this York Police news-story-of-the-year recipient and Seneca Radio & TV graduate took it to the streets with his weekly “Big Mouth” show, entertainingly blending high-energy human interest topics with comedy and winning 2005’s Impression Award.
I recall being thoroughly entertained by Dan’s “Baron of Barrie” short when it came before our judging committee for the Barrie Film Festival, and was happy to select it for screening, where it was very well received by our audience.
Dan has carved out his own space over recent years, working independently on music and film production, including a piece on Barrie’s history planned for a 2013 release.
But independence brings risk. Recently Dan survived a hair-raising accident resulting in hospitalization, cast, staples, surgery, and lengthy convalescence. Although on the mend, it has kept him from working and put a huge strain on his finances, with no sick days or benefits to draw upon. Luckily, the community Dan generously entertains is coming together to give back, with a special benefit concert & dinner this Sunday, November 11th at the Spotlight Event Centre, 41 Essa Rd.
Festivities and live entertainment run from 2 to 8 PM at $10 to attend, or $20 including the roast beef dinner served at 5 by our friend Rose Romita. Having enjoyed Rosie’s cooking, I know this is a great deal, and it’s for a great cause, so I look forward to seeing you all there.
One fun thing to find on YouTube is Dan’s interview with Battle of the Blades participants Anabelle Langlois and Georges Laraque. The “Big Mouth” convinced “Big Georges” to sing Hotel California on camera, showing what a great sport Laraque is off the ice, especially when he can support a good cause, like relief aid for Haiti.
And as I mentioned last week, “Big Georges” will also be in Barrie this coming Thursday November 15th, presented by the Green Party of Canada. What could be more Canadian than having an NHL star as the party’s deputy leader? Not only did he fight for his teammates, he also fights for the environment and animal rights. The public is invited to meet Georges at 7 PM at the Ferndale Banquet Hall (next to the Simcoe Building Centre) to learn about his important causes or get photos and autographs. Special fans can attend a VIP reception before the main event – email or call 705-730-7591 for more information.

UPDATE: I am sad to learn that Dan "Big Mouth" Dunlop passed away yesterday.
Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner under the title "Fundraiser for 'Baron of Barrie'"
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation

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