Mel Chesnutt sang some saucy songs to warm up the crowd for Bottoms Up Barely Burlesque.

Mel Chesnutt sang some saucy songs to warm up the crowd for Bottoms Up Barely Burlesque.

Fundraiser raises $ and awareness

The Community Arts Council put on a night of burlesque, beverages and beautiful music to help raise funds for the old courthouse.

The Community Arts Council of Fort St. James (disclosure: I am a member) put on a big night of burlesque, beverages and beautiful music to help raise funds for the old courthouse.

The event saw a sold-out crowd dress up in some of their best to listen to Mel Chesnutt sing with the help of Richard Sutton on guitar, Pauline Friessen on piano, and Olivia McMahon doing some backup vocals and some theatrical support.

Then there was the Bottoms Up Barely Burlesque group from Quesnel, B.C..

The group was hilariously entertaining.

Playful and charismatic, from comedy to sultry and sassy dancing, the show had more than one person commenting afterwards about sore facial muscles from laughter – not a bad problem to have.

The event raised around $1,000 towards the required renovations for the old courthouse building, which the arts council and other groups want to see turned into a non profit hub for the community.

The arts council would like to be able to use the space for workshops and to store some of the equipment for arts and crafts, like the pottery wheels and kilns they now have in storage until there is a permanent location for them.

The renovations needed to make the building usable include wiring for emergency lighting to meet fire code requirements for public buildings, new windows, flooring and some electrical work to service the kilns and pottery wheels in the space.

A contest to rename the old courthouse is still open, and name suggestions can be dropped off at The District of Fort St. James office on Stuart Drive.