By Sadie Vadnais
VANCOUVER — “If you can remember Keithmas then you weren’t there!” jokes Jon Hewer, the man behind the party of the season. “It’s become our de-facto motto for the event.”
In its seventh consecutive year, the event that combines Keith Richards’ birthday and Christmas is only growing, giving the rock and roll junkies of Vancouver a place to get their ya-yas out, knowing that they’re giving back to some of the people that need it most this winter season — the beneficiaries of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
“This kind of started as a lark seven years ago,” remembers Hewer. “We thought it would be a fun night. By the time the night arrived it had morphed into this whole other thing where the sum was greater than the parts. We raised 800 bucks and five boxes of food and had so much fun that we immediately said we have to do it again next year. And now here we are, seven years into it, and have raised over $30,000 for the Food Bank!”
Beyond the charity of the evening, there’s plenty to get into on the night itself through raffles and auctions. Last year they auctioned off Richards’ pants. The moment the name was called for the winner, the whole theatre went wild — a consistent occurrence throughout the evening.
With the support of many, Keithmas is a consistent must for partiers. With an eclectic musical lineup — which, this year, includes Rich Hope performing songs from the Rolling Stones’ album Some Girls — the event is sure to give a proper tribute to the man of the hour.
“We tend to get all the credit as organizers, but really the bands are what makes it so special,” says Hewer. “Without the artists generously giving all of their time there is no Keithmas. And lastly, on December 16th, let’s raise a glass (or a bottle) of JD to the human riff master himself, the indestructible Keith Richards, without whom this event wouldn’t exist!”
A worthy toast, to be sure.
Keithmas VII takes place on December 16 at the Rickshaw Theatre.BC, British Columbia, Keithmas, Keithmas VII, Rickshaw Theatre