“Most people know Dave Kelly as one of Alberta's most ubiquitous celebrities,” says Terry Rock, the executive director of the Alberta Brewers Association (among other things). “We’ve seen him on stage or on TV, always with his electric smile. Not enough people know about how much he does for the causes he supports. If there’s someone in Calgary that needs a hand up, there’s a good chance that Dave is in their corner.” Kelly’s star power stems from co-hosting Breakfast Television Calgary for 12 years and hosting numerous local and international events. His latest venture — a variety show called Dave Kelly Live (see the next show on April 12, page 34) is the result of wanting to bring together the theatrical side of plays with the fun, unpredictable side of a live show.
“We make a point to say no matter what, you’re going to have fun,” Kelly says. “We like to believe you come out of the show feeling good about yourself, and also feeling good about our city.” The show features performances, interviews, videos, interactive games, and more. Jim Button, who's been a friend of Kelly’s for over 20 years and the co-founder of Village Brewery (page 46), is a recurring guest who often jumps into Kelly’s improvised skits. “One of the best things about Dave is when stuff starts going sideways, he shines,” says Button, who helped conceive of the idea for Dave Kelly Live.
Dave is a local celebrity not just because everyone’s seen him on TV or at an event, but because he proudly associates himself with the city and its people. “Dave’s an international ambassador for Calgary,” says Emmy award-winning composer and Calgarian Dave Pierce. “He’s a respected emcee and host for events around the world; he's an excellent communicator and recognized internationally for that. But no matter where he is, Calgary’s always first and foremost in how he presents himself. He’s so proudly Calgarian and makes sure every city he’s in knows about Calgary. Building community has never gone away from his personality. He truly loves Calgary and that feeds his energy to keep going.”