Calgary firm helps Fort Mac fight back

C&B Advertising partners Phil Copithorne and Leigh Blakely have launched a fundraising T-shirt campaign for Fort McMurray. ANDY MAXWELL MAWJI / CALGARY HERALD

STEVE JENKINSON, CALGARY HERALD
More from Steve Jenkinson, Calgary Herald

he Calgary advertising firm whose Hell or High Water T-shirts raised $2.1 million for flood relief in 2013 is rallying Albertans to wear their support for Fort McMurray.

The creative team at C&B Advertising has designed a new black tee, emblazoned with the slogan Fort Mac Will Fight Back, to support Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in the fire-ravaged region.

C&B partner Phil Copithorne said the T-shirts are an opportunity for Albertans to show their support for the community while assisting financially, as happened following the devastating 2013 floods in southern Alberta.

“We’ve all watched the images from Fort McMurray and the people leaving their communities and having their homes burned, and we really felt compelled to do something,” Copithorne said Friday. 

“I think Albertans will come together for any community, and we’re going to do it again this time.”

The shirts retail for $19.95 online, with $14 from each sale donated to the Canadian Red Cross.

C&B Advertising, with the Calgary Stampede, sold more than 150,000 Hell or High Water T-shirts in a campaign launched after organizers determined the 2013 Stampede would go on. 

“It shows you the power of a small idea to really make a difference for people, so we wanted to pitch in and do it,” said Copithorne. “It’s going to be different this time, but we wanted to do something that would help give back.”

It was his business partner, Leigh Blakely, who developed the Fort Mac slogan while viewing images of property destruction and personal loss across the northern communities.

“Sitting at home, and not being able to do anything, you feel helpless. We just wanted to get a message out there to help Fort McMurray,” Blakely said. 

“I don’t know anyone in this province that can say we don’t have a connection to Fort McMurray, given how much that city has given to us as Albertans.”

T-shirts can be ordered online at candbadvertising.com.

Copithorne said his company will produce as many as demand warrants.

“We’ll produce as many as we can sell, and we want to keep producing shirts,” he said.

Other fundraising efforts announced Friday included:

  • Cactus Club will donate full proceeds from all Feenie burgers sold at its Alberta restaurants over the next week to the Canadian Red Cross relief effort; 
  • The Calgary Airport Authority announced an initial $25,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross and said it will undertake additional fundraising efforts where airport employees and passengers can contribute; 
  • Hudson’s Bay Company donated $100,000 from its HBC Foundation to the Canadian Red Cross campaign and will allow Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters customers to donate their HBC Rewards Points online at hbc.com/hbcrewards; 
  • More than 1,000 Alberta realtors have joined the Facebook group Realtors Support Fort McMurray to connect displaced Fort McMurray residents with available housing options.

sjenkinson@postmedia.com