'Those Crazy Canucks' Fundraiser for Canada's Alpine Ski Team
November 22, 2019
What a night it was on Friday November 22nd as we hosted a sold out crowd at the Historic Gayety theatre in Collingwood. Three of the Crazy Canucks themselves were in attendance (Dave Irwin, Ken Read and Todd Brooker) as was the director of the films from the era, Bill Johnston of Summerhill Entertainment.
I would like to sincerely thank everyone who was involved for their generous support as well as our 320 guests for supporting the cause through online donations and cash donations at the door.
Our dear family friend Allan de la Plante generously donated two original paintings of Read and Irwin which sold via silent auction and have found new homes in the area.
Our good friend Todd Brooker donated 3 vintage World Cup bibs from his racing days including one from Kitzbuehel which raised a good chunk more!
We had terrific raffle and silent auction prizes from Alpine Canada, Atomic, Mike Wiegele and the Read family. All said and done we are enormously proud to say we raised $10,275 towards Canada’s Alpine Ski Team.
We foster a tremendous ski community here in Collingwood and I believe it is important that we continue to tell our stories, celebrate past successes and build foundations for future success.
Why did I put this event on you ask? The era of the Crazy Canucks is one that has fascinated me for a long time. As a kid, my brothers and I would watch CBC Sports on any given Sunday as the boys in yellow suits would throw themselves down the mountain. Of course, they were never really ‘crazy’, they were courageous and it inspired a whole new generation of ski racers.
While, clearly, these movies are nostalgic, the era of the Crazy Canucks is an exceptional symbol of the Canadian spirit and our ability to perform at the highest level, capable of reaching the World Cup podium which these racers did repeatedly from 1975 to 1984. 39 in Total!
What is especially amazing is that this fearsome group of racers including Jim Hunter, Ken Read, Dave Irwin, Dave Murray, Steve Podborski and Todd Brooker (and their devoted coaching staff) achieved these results most of the time being underfunded and under-resourced. Not an easy feat when compared to the racing armies of the Austrian and Swiss Teams. Teamwork, resourcefulness, spirit and true grit were all contributing factors to their success. In spite of the odds, our beloved Crazy Canucks stormed into the mecca of Alpine Downhill in Kitzbuehel and won the fabled Hahnenkamm 4 years in a row from 1980 to 1983.
Our little community here in Collingwood has always been part of the equation. Mostly all of the Crazy Canucks have deep ties to this area. Through events like this I hope we can remind ourselves of the potential we continue to have and how we must endeavour to foster it. We need to support our athletes to the best of our ability and to give them a fighting chance on the hill.
See you next year!