Rick Mercer spends some one-on-one time with Lanei, western screech owl. Photo: Michal Grajewski, Rick Mercer Report

Mercer Report season premiere to feature Vancouver Island animal rescue centre

Viewing party Tuesday evening at the Avalanche

Dianne Pollock still has to pinch herself to confirm she isn’t dreaming.

Pollock is part of the special events committee for the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS), the team responsible for getting Rick Mercer to Vancouver Island for a taping of his show.

“I was so excited when it finally happened. I’m still so excited,” she said. “It’s going to be so much fun to see.”

The MARS segment will be featured on the season premiere of the Rick Mercer Report, Tuesday, Sept. 26.

While the taping and subsequent airing took no time at all, the process of getting him to the Island took more than two years to come to fruition.

“Back in June 2015, at one of our meetings, we thought it would be a good idea,” Pollock said. “So I wrote out this long email telling him what we did. I threw in a few things I thought might interest him, and added that if anything went sideways we have a hospital nearby … we got a response back pretty quickly saying they were interested.”

Pollock said despite the producer expressing his interest in the idea, she heard nothing else for a few months, prompting a follow-up email.

Another response from Mercer’s producer reaffirmed the interest on their end, but again, communication stalled after that.

“So I just kept at it,” said Pollock. “All of a sudden, late last year, they started showing more interest, and started talking about coming in March.”

That time-frame fell through, because Mercer was so involved with his Spread the Net Challenge (a nation-wide competition among Canadian schools to raise funds for bed nets, in the fight against malaria, in Africa).

“We started thinking ‘gee whiz, this might never happen’… so we let it sit for a little while, then at one of our meetings I said ‘we’ve got river otters, we’ve got 11 fawns… we’d better send him another update,” said Pollock. “So our manager, Diane Weir, sent him a nice email, outlining the entire scenario, how she saw [the segment] playing out, and that was it; she reeled him in.”

Mercer and his production team spent the morning of Aug. 25 at MARS, filming, and the show will be aired Tuesday.

MARS founder, Maj Birch, was part of the June 2015 meeting. She lost her battle to cancer later that year. Pollock said seeing this process through was somewhat of a tribute to Birch.

“I hope so; I really hope so,” said Pollock. “We all miss her a great deal. We still consider that Maj is the one holding the umbrella and we are all just the spokes.”

 

Rick Mercer is overwhelmed as he nurses a couple of fawns. Photo: Michal Grajewski, Rick Mercer Report

Just Posted

Trek to Mt. Everest’s base camp an awe inspiring experience for Sylvan Lake resident

Perle Campbell said looking back on the experience is like a dream.

Stettler has fun-filled day planned for Canada Day

Fireworks, entertainment at West Settler Park

Changes coming to this year’s Big Valley Jamboree

Camrose’s popular country music festival ‘enhances guest experience’

Scenic trail ride raises funds for STARS air ambulance

Battle River Ride for STARS hopes to reach this year’s goal

Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Ponoka County receives update from energy lobby group

CAPP hopes to work with municipalities on property tax issues

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Late night fight in Wetaskiwin results in aggravated assault, assault with a weapon charges

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery and aggravated assault

Maskwacis featured in documentary series that unearths Indigenous cuisine

Red Chef Revival’s host visits community, elders and Nipisihkopahk School

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Fighter Jets light up Bucs’ to take AFL first place

38-3 loss puts Central Alberta into second place in the AFL

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Most Read