Nathan for Holocaust: Comedian’s pop-up store promotes Holocaust awareness

Vancouver-born comedian Nathan Fielder created and stars in Nathan for You

Vancouver-born comedian Nathan Fielder gave away free jackets in exchange for customers’ Taiga Works brand outerwear at a pop-up store Fielder launched in his hometown for his Summit Ice brand.

The creator and star of Comedy Central’s Nathan for You also solicited donations for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre and pledged $150,000 (US) to the organization’s initiatives.

Summit Ice’s first-ever pop-up outlet appeared on Vancouver’s West Broadway Street on March 26, just blocks from the Taiga Works store . Fielder, 34, has said he loved the outdoor clothing manufactured by Taiga until he learned that the Vancouver-based outdoor clothing company had published a tribute in one of its catalogues to Doug Collins, a deceased B.C. columnist well known for his anti-Semitic views and denial of the Holocaust.


Fielder said all the Taiga jackets collected March 26 would be thrown away and that his goal was “to take all the Taiga jackets off the market in Vancouver.” Those who did not have a Taiga jacket to exchange could make a donation, though one online source noted that donation recommendations were $120, “higher than [Summit Ice’s] online prices.”

Collins died in 2001, and a tribute to him from Taiga stated, “Although many disagreed with his views, he has to be admired, however grudgingly, for his lions courage in asserting and defending the rights of free opinion and free speech in these wimpy, politically correct times.”

He had been a columnist for the North Shore News. In one column, Collins called the 1993 film Schindler’s List “Swindler’s List” stating that “what happened to the Jews during the Second World War is not only the longest lasting but also the most effective propaganda exercise ever.”

Fielder has expressed to media that he was shocked. He had been wearing his favourite Taiga jacket often, including on his show. But, after reading the company’s tribute to Collins, the comedian decided to open an outdoor apparel company that openly promotes the truth of the Holocaust. He called it Summit Ice and pledged that all profits from jackets sold would be donated to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC), which promotes Holocaust education in Western Canada.

Some lined up in the rain for two hours to enter the tiny store March 26, where Fielder interacted with customers and gladly smiled for selfies. Customers, some of whom had travelled from as far afield as Port Allison, Ore., said they’d come to support the cause as well as to meet the comedian.

Photographs taken at Auschwitz were on display at the store, and after each transaction, customers were directed to a counter where they were informed of a Holocaust fact, asked if they believed the Holocaust happened, and if they answered yes, were given a “Deny Nothing” pin and a sheet of facts about the Shoah.

In an interview with Global News, Fielder said the pop-up store was a way of “raising awareness of the Holocaust. Not only do I not trust Taiga anymore, I don’t trust any outdoor apparel company to know their beliefs. So I thought it would be safest, if I’m going to be wearing a jacket on TV, to start my own company.”

“We have a lot of customers, so clearly this is a big success,” he said of the pop-up outlet. “I didn’t see a line like this outside Taiga.”

The CJN tried to reach Taiga, but store employees were unable to identify who the owner was and refused to comment.

Nina Krieger, executive director of the VHEC, said in a statement that Fielder had donated more than $150,000 (US) to the organization, out of profits from his Summit Ice apparel line.

“We are extraordinarily honoured to be the recipient agency for Nathan Fielder’s Summit Ice initiative,” she said. “It is especially meaningful that Nathan appreciates the work our centre does to advance education and remembrance in his hometown.”