A comedy festival launched in Iqaluit last year will add two dates in Yellowknife when it returns to the North next month.
The Arctic Comedy Festival will play the NWT capital on October 9 and 10, organizers said, before heading to Iqaluit on October 11 and 12.
Comedians taking part include Mary Walsh, Howie Miller, Big Daddy Tazz, Derek Seguin, and James Mullinger.
Yellowknife-born Alex Sparling is joining the roster for the festival, as are Iqaluit’s Samasuni Fortin and Bernard Choquette, known as Sam and Bernard. Iqaluit-based Bibi Bilodeau will also perform.
On October 9, Walsh – creator and star of This Hour has 22 Minutes – will host her own evening-long show at NACC.
The following night, at the same venue, Miller will host an evening headlined by Big Daddy Tazz and also featuring Sparling.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the festival will host a comedy workshop at NACC from 12pm till 3pm.
Organizers said three performers will run the workshop, which is free, and participants will then be able to participate in a “comedy competition” with a spot in Thursday’s lineup up for grabs, plus $100 cash and an invite to the March 2020 Ottawa Crackup Comedy Festival.
The festival takes place during Mental Illness Awareness Week, which festival communications director Bridget Mallon said the group “strongly supports.” Events for local high-school students are also planned.
“Laughter cheers our spirit, relieves stress and strengthens relationships, so it makes sense to have a comedy festival that supports and promotes mental health,” said Dan Valin of Canadian North, the festival’s title sponsor.
“We hope this festival continues to raise awareness of the tools available to youth and our communities.”