Get ready for a week of gut-busting comedy from some of the best new talent and comedy veterans, including Indigenous performers from all across Canada!
The Canadian North Arctic Comedy Festival returns, with shows in Yellowknife Oct. 3 to 5, and in Iqaluit Oct. 6 to 9.
“The last time we were able to have a full festival was in 2019,” says John Helmkay Producer of the festival. “We did have a couple smaller virtual presentations during the pandemic, but it’s great to be back to the full festival this year!”
With amazing performances by well-known artists and incredible opportunities for young amateurs, the festival is sure to tickle anyone’s funny bone.
The Yellowknife portion kicks off Monday, Oct. 3 at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre with Got Land? Indigenous Comics, featuring comedians from various nations across Western Canada, including Janelle Niles, Howie Miller, Chad Anderson, Dez Loreen, Brenda Prince, Mason Mantla and more.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, again in the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, it’s Comedy Night in Yellowknife, featuring performances by a variety of rising stars and Canadian comedy veterans like John Wing, Kyle Brownrigg, Lisa Baker, Brittany Lyseng and Sunee Dhaliwal.
Yellowknife wraps up Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Top Knight Lounge with the Just for Laughs Showcase, with Northwest Territories comedians performing in front of JFL’s talent scouts for opportunities to perform at Just for Laughs Festival events in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.
All four events of the Iqaluit portion are at the Aqsarnit Hotel, starting Thursday, Oct. 6, with Got Land? Indigenous Comics, this time featuring comedians representing nations across eastern Canada, like Janelle Niles, Patrick Cheechoo, Hezron Muckpaloo, Mary-Lee Aliyak and Mike Bombay and more.
Friday night is one of Canada’s biggest independent comedy tours – the Best Kind Comedy Tour. Hosted by Griff, this show features three of Newfoundland’s top comedians: Mike Lynch, Colin Hollet and Brian Aylward.
Saturday is Comedy Night in Iqaluit, with performances by another group of rising stars and comedy veterans like John Wing, Kyle Brownrigg, Simone Holder, Nicole Etitiq, Nuka Fennel and more.
The festival finishes up on Sunday with the Canadian Improv Games Showcase, with an invitation to high school youth in Iqaluit to join the first-ever showcase in Iqaluit. Having taken part in workshops throughout the week, they’ll have a chance to showcase their skills alongside professional improvisers. Some of the students will be invited to join the Improv Festival and Tournament in April 2023 in Ottawa.
“We’re committed to developing local Indigenous talent, especially the youth,” Helmkay says. “Kids involved in improv develop not only comedy skills but all kinds of skills, and tend to stay in school.
“We invite everyone out to support them and have a great laugh at the same time!”