Tall tales and session ales: Night of Lies comes to Jasper

Night of Lies—an evening featuring tales of struggles, near misses and debauchery while working and playing in the Rockies—is coming to Jasper.

The event originated in Calgary 17 years ago before finding a permanent home in the Bow Valley. Now, thanks to Rockaboo Mountain Adventures, Night of Lies is travelling north to Jasper, where event organizer Lisa Darrah believes the format will be a hit with locals.

“Prepare for a theatrical energy and lots of laughs,” Darrah said.

Canmore’s Wade Graham started the tradition in 2000. What began as a BS-session in his basement suite apartment has evolved into a standing room-only, highly-anticipated annual event with appearances from a range of mountain personalities.

“It’s like a TED Talk with pint-swilling, heckling climbers,” Graham said.

Darrah remembers going to her first Night of Lies 12 years ago when she lived in Banff.

“It was edgy, it was fun, I laughed so hard,” she said. “People are encouraged to embellish a little.”

That includes audience members. Darrah said it’s an informal gathering: the floor will open at the end of the scheduled speakers.

“Keep a tale in your pocket just in case,” she said.

Ryan Titchener is one of the evening’s featured speakers. Titchener, who broke his back in a climbing accident in 2016 and whose remarkable recovery has inspired the Rockies communities on both side of the Jasper/Banff border, was the beneficiary of the last Night of Lies in Canmore. While his story of perseverance has been well documented, Titchener plans to bring a less-known, R-rated episode of his recovery on November 10.

“I call it Hard Times,” he winked.

Graham says that sense of irreverence is what the event is all about. Besides being a fundraiser for a good cause, Night of Lies keeps the oral tradition alive, he said.

“It’s in the spirit of around the fire, in the hut. It’s raw and real.”

Night of Lies takes place November 10 at Four Peaks Nightclub. Doors open at 7 p.m. Find out how to get early bird tickets on Facebook for $15.

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