Fancy a Ken Behrens T-shirt or sweatshirt? How about a Ken Behrens phone case with the added bonus of the Belco Owl on it? Peak Canberra. Right there. And you will be helping the homeless with your purchase.
Building off the goodwill created by the now-famous captioning error during Chief Minister Andrew Barr's televised Covid update on August 13 (Canberrans became "Ken Behrens"), the Ken Behrens Club has been launched to support those in the community doing it tough - and to provide an avenue for local creatives to stay on their feet through the sale of limited-edition merchandise.
Two proud Canberrans, creative director Patrick Rose and Dendy Cinemas general manager Leigh Barnett, are the brains - and hearts - behind the Ken Behrens Club.
They rallied local designers to come up with the first batch of Ken Behrens products, including a Ken Behrens T-shirt and sweatshirt as well as a bus shelter mug or pin.
Each limited run of products will support a local charity, with the first season donating 100 per cent of the profits to Orange Sky Australia, which provides the homeless with free laundry services and showers as well as conversation and connection.
The club is calling for local artists to collaborate with it for future seasons and is exploring ways to also support the creatives who are donating their talents to the cause, noting that the creative industries has been one of the hardest hit by Covid. (The model for future releases is for 70 per cent of profits to go to Orange Sky and 30 per cent of profits to go to the artists.)
And lockdown was not going to stop them from launching the initiative.
"We thought, 'Stuff it, let's give it a crack'," Patrick said.
He and his supporters swung into action and got the merchandise and website in train.
They are getting the products made in Brisbane which at the moment is not in lockdown.
"That means it can be shipped direct to Canberra and production is pretty much on demand, at the start," Patrick said.
The next callout is to creatives who can also work with "Camp Barons", another caption which cropped up for Canberrans in the Covid media conferences.
The club hopes Canberrans' famous generous spirit will kick into gear while they also celebrate living in the national capital. "After all, we are all Ken Behrens," Patrick said.
Order the products at kenbehrens.club
Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in the ACT and the lockdown is free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: