Cancer society hosting annual jail-n-bail

Kelly Moniuk poses for a mug shot prior to entering the makeshift Canadian Cancer Society jail at the Prince Albert Gateway Mall. © Herald photo by Jason Kerr.

An annual Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser is looking for jailbirds.

The 29th Jail –‘N-Bail fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, October 18 at the Gateway Mall. Normally upstanding citizens get nominated by their co-workers, bosses, friends or family to be arrested. They are brought to court to stand in front of a “judge” — usually a prominent member of the community — to face their charges.

After being booked and photographed, they spend time in a mock jail raising bail in pledged donations to the Canadian Cancer Society from friends, co-workers or family.

“The surprise arrests add to the prank-like fun of the event, and there are always laughs as people stand before our judges to face charges such as: making their own fashion statement, being too attached to their phone or being too cheerful in the morning,” the cancer society said in a press release.

“However, the judges are in on the fun and may be bribed or sweet talked, but be careful what you say to them, as they’ve been known to dole out some unique punishments.”

While in previous years, the cancer society recruited big names to act as their most wanted, this year’s event will feature more community ‘arrests’ instead.

We’ve got some arrest forms in with some potential jailbirds, but we’re looking to get lots more,” said Charlene Bernard, unit manager of the Prince Albert Canadian Cancer Society branch.

“We always like to fill that jail, and we always have a lot of fun. It’s a good laugh and a good fundraiser where we can raise lots of money and have lots of fun at the same time.”

Last year’s event was a little quieter than normal, but the event still raised $10,000. That money goes to support programs including research, support for cancer patients and their families, peer supports, transportation programs, advocacy, education, prevention, the smoker’s helpline and more.

This year’s judges include media personalities such as Teena Monteleone and Chris Knight from 900 CKBI, Jackie Perez from CTV and Peter Lozinski from the Daily Herald. City Manager Jim Toye, Doug Dahl from the Health Region, Cara Stelmaschuk from the E.A. Rawlinson Centre and Donna HOrdyski from Gateway Mall have also signed on as judges.

“We’re hoping to get more people than last year and get those numbers up,” Bernard said. “It’s still a great community event and it’s well-received. (people) should be prepared to have a lot of fun. It’s fun for the volunteers, the jailbirds — it can seem intimidating but it is a lot of fun.”

To turn yourself in, recommend someone to be arrested or for more information, call 306-764-48098 or visit The jailee is not informed of who arranged for their arrest.