Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Winnipeg Comedy Festival happens April 28 to May 4, and with the arrival of spring we’re bringing a bloom of fresh faces and first-timers to WCF, along with funny favourites from festivals past.
More than 70 comics will perform in over 30 shows at venues like Club Regent Event Centre, The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, The Forks, Millennium Library, The Fairmont Lounge, Wee Johnny’s, and the Gas Station Arts Centre (GSAC), which doubles as home to the festival.
“The Fest turns 18 this year and I am so proud of our thrilling lineup of shows,” says Winnipeg Comedy Festival’s Artistic Director Lara Rae, whose final year at the helm is 2019. “Although I am sad to leave the family, there are new opportunities that I want to explore. Comedy and this event will still be a huge part of my life, and I am proud of what we have done. I’ll leave the fest knowing it will continue to thrive and flourish.”
“Also, I'm still here until May, so quit your sniffling!”
NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR FOR 2020
Dean Jenkinson will assume the role of Artistic Director for the 2020 festival: "I’m very excited and humbled to be taking the reins from Lara. Winnipeg Comedy Festival has long cultivated a reputation as a festival that values the art and the artists above all else. I look forward to continuing to bring together Canada’s amazing under-appreciated comedy talent and local, national, and international audiences."
Says Lara, about Dean: “I couldn’t be happier that a long-time colleague and friend will become the new Artistic Director. Dean has been the Creative Producer of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival Galas for the past ten years and is a genuinely funny and inspired human being. Plus he knows the festival almost as well as I do, so I couldn’t think of a better person, really.”
2019 GALA THEMES & HOSTS
Winnipeg Comedy Festival’s Galas will welcome fans to their new home at Club Regent Event Centre May 2-4, and for the first time in WCF Gala history there will be free parking for all! The Galas are recorded live-to-tape for television broadcast on CBC, and here are the line-ups:
First Impressions / Thursday, May 2 @ 7:15pm
We’re taking a funny look at looks. This show is all about beauty standards, insecurity and the fears and foibles of showing our true face to the world. Host: Trent McClellan / Performers: Bryan Hatt, Simon King, Leland Klassen, Chanty Marostica, Shelina Merani, Natalie Norman
Kids Stuff / Friday, May 3 @ 6:45pm
Grown up jokes about childhood, child-minding, and child-raising. Book a sitter, sit back and relax. Host: Gerry Dee / Performers: John Cullen, Keith Pedro, Ian Sirota, Preeti Torul, Tim Steeves, Rhiannon Archer
Beyond Belief / Friday, May 3 @ 9:15pm
We take you to the outer limits of comedy. We conspire to give fair hearing to big ideas from the sublime to the hilarious. Host: DeAnne Smith / Performers: Martha Chaves, Christophe Davidson, Charlie Demers, Eman El-Husseini, Jacob Samuel, Peter White
Square Pegs / Saturday, May 4 @ 6:45pm
Cool and unusual stand up from some of comedy’s most outrageous outliers. Host: Kevin McDonald / Performers: Anesti Danelis, Todd Graham, Charles Haycock, Yumi Nagashima, Nick Nemeroff, Ana-Marija Stojic
Discomfort Zone / Saturday, May 4 @ 9:15pm
Mark Twain once said “man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to!” We anxiously await your attendance to this socially awkward occasion. Host: Jessica Holmes / Performers: Adam Christie, Mark James Heath, Pete Johansson, Chelsea Lou, and one more name TBA soon!
SOME FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
The full schedule for the 2019 Winnipeg Comedy Festival is now available at www.winnipegcomedyfestival.com/schedule. Here are a few special highlights of what’s to come:
The kick-off happens Sunday with Comedy Aces, featuring internationally renowned headlining aces Johnny Bagpipes, Eddy King, Yumi Nagashima and Nikki Payne, and one top drawer joker known as Big Daddy Tazz hosting the show (Club Regent Event Centre / April 28).
Join hostess Lara Rae for her swan song after 18 years as Artistic Director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Lara & Friends will feature some of her comedy BFF’s in an intimate show of great stand-up, reminiscences, and long-awaited and much-deserved skewering (Gas Station Arts Centre / May 1).
Seán Cullen and Shaun Majumder are two festival favourites who have graced every size of stage… this year you can catch each of them in intimate and up-close performances at Gas Station Arts Centre. Majumder will headline Red Carpet Comedy (April 30), which opens with a special Winnipeg Wine Festival tasting reception, while Cullen will appear with Charlie Demers at Heavyweights (May 2).
For the first time in a long-time… WCF will host a French headlining show! Eddy King is originally from France, lives in Montreal, and will performin St. Boniface at WCF en Francais (Université de Saint-Boniface / May 2).
Treaty 1 and Only features Indigenous comics from across Turtle Island gathering together on Treaty 1 for a laugh-packed celebration hosted by Howie Miller (Gas Station Arts Centre / May 3).
The Clean Show (Gas Station Arts Centre / May 4) will entertain those who like to keep their comedy PG13, with host Martha Chaves, while filthy-minded humans can get their laughs at The Dirty Show, hosted by long-time lovable and always obnoxious Ed The Sock (Metropolitan Entertainment Centre / May 3).
Full festival schedule is now up RIGHT HERE! And don't forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for upcoming news, artist bios, show promos, giveaway contests, local comedy events, and random fun posts, too.