SURREY — Who says the seriousness of drug addiction and the current fentanyl crisis can’t involve a little comedy, and even some dancing?
In Newton, a rare open house at John Volken Academy next week will include tours of the facility and Price Pro store, a reception with guest speakers and a performance by comedy hypnotist Scott Christie.
The venue for the Saturday, Feb. 4 evening event has seating for 700 guests, said planner Monica Star.
“We want people to come see the show, see the facility, tour the store, meet the community leaders and see that there are options in the community to help people who are wanting freedom from addiction,” Star told the Now.
Volken’s “academy” is a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility where adult students – close to five dozen of them currently, with room for more – also gain work experience at the adjacent store. The program is free for participants, other than the commitment of a $5,000 intake fee.
On Feb. 4, tours of the facility begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a talk by Volken and others, Christie’s show and, starting at 10:30 p.m., dance music by Garry Robertson DJ Entertainment.
Admission is by donation, and the event is not a fundraiser by any means.
CLICK HERE to book by-donation tickets.
Christie encourages people to attend the awareness event and show, which he’s performing for no payment.
“It’s fabulous work (Volken) is doing there,” Christie said. “I toured the facility the other day and it blew my mind. The work he does with the kids – young adults in their 20s and some in their 30s – is extremely impressive.
“The (program) is really making a big difference for (students), who are there for a couple of years, so it’s quite the program, where they can learn some skills, get clean and become a contributing part of society.”
Christie, a South Surrey resident who performs 200-plus shows a year, will do his new “Vegas Show” at the event.
“It’s a themed hypnosis show, and it includes a wild, wacky trip to Las Vegas, where I take volunteers from the audience,” he explained. “We’ll reproduce the fun stuff that happens in Vegas, such as winning slot machine, seeing the big stars perform as well, and my volunteers will become the stars of the show.”
John Volken Academy is located at 6869 King George Blvd., Surrey.