Lights, camera, action! It’s official — Lake Cowichan is going to be featured on the comedic CBC television program Still Standing.
The show features Newfoundland comedian Jonny Harris as he travels across Canada, visiting communities and gathering material for an original stand-up comedy routine he then puts on for the locals.
According to the show’s website, he explores “small towns on the ropes and [meets] the people who remain fiercely proud to call these towns home. By immersing himself in the adventure of their everyday lives, Jonny comes to understand their passion for these places.”
Executive producer Maureen Riley said “on the ropes” means different things depending on the community.
“But usually it’s a little community that’s fighting to — ‘survive’ might be a strong word for Lake Cowichan, but some of the other small towns we’ve gone to they really are struggling to survive,” said Riley.
“And what we find out is despite the adversity, there is a beautiful community that comes together to fight for their town.”
Riley said her team first became aware of Lake Cowichan’s story through an article about Sunfest coming to the area.
The group will be in Lake Cowichan from April 18 to 24. Riley said they have no instructions or requests of local citizens.
“We encourage people to just continue to do what they usually do,” she said.
“The one thing people usually tell us is how surprised they are by the number of people who show up with Jonny Harris. I think sometimes people think it’s just Jonny and a camera. We’re a team of 13 or 14 people, so you’ll definitely see us around town.”
Harris’s stand up performance for the town will be held April 23 at 6 p.m. A location for the event is yet to be determined.
Mayor Ross Forrest said he is thrilled about the news and the potential exposure the show will bring with it.
“It’s a national TV show and we have a lot of natural beauty here in the area that people are going to recognize and say, ‘That’s a pretty nice town,’” he said. “The show is about small towns that are sort of reinventing themselves and so obviously they think we fit that criteria.”
Forrest said in addition to the publicity from the show, he thinks the experience will be a lot of fun for Lake area residents.
“I think that our community will be entertained and thoroughly enjoy it.”
Lake Cowichan’s episode will kick off season three of Still Standing, which does not air until 2017.