A variety of performers rally for the Festival of Hope

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      Call it a Christmas miracle, complete with both laughter and tears. The story traces back to last year, when more than 70 local artists and comedy masters came together for an extended, holiday-time Cabaret of Hope at the Havana Theatre (1212 Commercial Drive).

      They raised more than $3,000 for Boden Lalonde, a young man in palliative care with muscular dystrophy, their Christmas present a super-gaming computer to help make the 24 hours a day he spends in bed better. At the time, doctors were giving Lalonde three to six months to live. Flash-forward to this Christmas, and Lalonde is still alive—with a whole team of performers ready to throw their support behind him again.

      The newly dubbed Festival of Hope is back at the Havana, offering a different lineup each night, kicking off Thursday to Saturday (December 21 to 23) then revving up again from December 28 to 30. Opening night features funnyman David C. Jones, 2016 Miss Canada (Petite) Alicia Ohana, and actor-singer Lori Watt, while the 22nd finds Fringe favourite Jacques Lalonde, of Trump the Musical fame, bringing back his presidential impersonaltion for A Trumpmas Carol.

      The 23rd is a Comedy Cares V event with standup stalwart Richard Glen Lett and improv legends the Fictionals. There’s much more, with all tickets by donation.