April 30 - May 5, 2024

Friday, October 1, 2021

Local Artists at this Year's Festival

Local comedians share the stage with national icons at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival Winnipeg Comedy Festival 20th Anniversary lands October 5-10

When the Winnipeg Comedy Festival (WCF) began in 2002, only a small handful of local comedians populated Winnipeg’s standup stages, but as the festival celebrates its 20th year, the city is positively bursting with homegrown talent.

“Winnipeg’s comedy scene is as big and as funny as I’ve ever seen it,” says Artistic Director, Dean Jenkinson. “The Winnipeg Comedy Festival couldn’t be prouder to showcase Winnipeg talent alongside some of the very best in Canada.”  

  • Leading the charge on Tuesday, October 5 at the Gas Station Arts Centre is lovable, fan-favourite Tim Gray, hosting The Tim Gray Talk Show with his co-host (and wife!), fellow comedian Dana Smith. Canadian comedy icons Elvira Kurt, Derek Seguin, and Seán Cullen join Tim and Dana for the performance. “To have a show in the festival with my name on it is a major milestone in my comedy career,” says Gray. “I started 12 years ago performing at open mics and volunteering at the festival. Now I'll be interviewing the very comics I used to watch in awe from the back of the room.”  
  • Winnipeg comedian and long-time comedy producer at the Handsome Daughter, Mike Green, hosts Battle Royale, a competition between teams of comedians. Battle Royale lands on October 9 at the Gas Station Arts Centre.  “It’s huge to be able to bring back the Battle Royale in grand fashion at the GSAC,” says Green. “In 2019 I had built up the show to where I was touring it to other cities. Comics from coast to coast and even the US were taking part and the response was always ‘this is so fun and unique!’  The opportunity to introduce four more of Canada's best comics to the format, is more than I could have hoped for in terms of picking up where I left off.”  
  • CBC Radio’s hit show The Debaters makes its long-awaited Winnipeg return from October 6-9. Alongside Winnipeg favourites Big Daddy Tazz and Lara Rae, homegrown talents Chad Anderson (October 9) and Matt Falk (October 6) are making their Debaters debuts. Matt Falk says his Debaters appearance on Wednesday, October 6 is extra special. “Getting to be on a show that I’ve listened to and laughed at for years is thrilling, and just a touch terrifying. Unfortunately, my opponent is also from Winnipeg, so any hometown advantage is canceled out. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve been slowly poisoning his food for the last three months.”  
  • Best of the Fest on Sunday, October 10 at Gas Station Arts Centre sees Winnipeg’s Benji Rothman alongside national headliners. “Benji’s become so incredibly sharp and polished in the past couple years,” says Artistic Director Dean Jenkinson. “You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who writes comedy as well as Benji. He really is one of the best of the fest.”   
  • Winnipeg’s Shauna Fay appears Saturday October 9 at the Burton Cummings Theatre in her drag alter-ego, Skirt Browning. It’s a coveted festival gala spot received as part of her prize for winning CBC Manitoba’s NEXT UP! Comedy competition. “Blending drag and comedy together is a tricky art, but hearing people laugh is the reward. Plus, it means that because Skirt Browning won Next Up Manitoba she's a pageant drag queen with a crown! There is a crown, right?”

    Full schedule here!