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Aid from afar: Albertans looking to lend a hand to those impacted by Fiona


Blowers & Grafton restaurants provide a taste of home for Atlantic Canadians now in Alberta, but they're looking to do even more this week: help those impacted by post-tropical storm Fiona.

The five Halifax street food-inspired locations in Alberta will donate all proceeds from liquor sales Friday to the Canadian Red Cross, to aid in recovery and cleanup after the devastating storm.

"I think it's what we do as Canadians. When one of us falls down and one of us needs support or somewhere needs support, we all come together to help," said Josh Robinson, a Blowers & Grafton co-owner who grew up in Halifax.

"This is another case where there's a lot of people in a rough place right now."

There are two Calgary locations, two in Edmonton and one opening this week in Sherwood Park.

Robinson says many staff members who work at the restaurants have family and friends in Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec and they've all been anxiously following the updates from back home.

"One of our team members has two different family members who lost their roofs in Cape Breton," Robinson said.

"I've heard plenty of horror stories of some pretty devastating damage and people being put out. It's not just personal and homes, it's also businesses and people's livelihoods that are going to be taken back now, too."

The Canadian Red Cross has members on the ground in the Maritimes and Newfoundland.

No one has been sent from Alberta yet, but members here are on standby, if that call comes.

"The Red Cross works in collaboration with municipal governments, with provincial governments and with Indigenous community leadership to make sure we're placing our funds in the best place, not duplicating effort, and where the area of greatest need is," said Jenn McManus, Canadian Red Cross vice-president for Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

People who want to donate to the Canadian Red Cross can do so online or by texting the word 'FIONA' to 20222.

"Albertans have been super generous to their fellow Canadians and to the Red Cross," McManus said.

The federal government will match all donations for Fiona relief made to the organization for the next month. Top Stories

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