Canadian North and NorthwesTel have partnered with the Crackup Comedy team for the 2nd Annual Arctic Comedy Festival.

“Laughter cheers our spirit, relieves stress and strengthens relationships, so it makes sense to have a comedy festival that supports and promotes mental health,” Dan Valin of Canadian North said. “We hope this festival continues to raise awareness of the tools available to youth and our communities.”

Last years festival. Arthur C. Green/Submitted Image

The festival is headed to Yellowknife on October 9-10 and Iqaluit October 11-12, says Valin.

“We’re featuring a powerhouse of star talent from across Canada, including comics from local communities. This year our Festival takes place during Mental Illness Awareness Week,” Valin said. “We partner with local organizations to raise awareness and funds for local mental health support services. Canadian North and the Crack Up Comedy organizers hope to expand the festival to more communities in the Arctic.”

This year features Mary Walsh as the host. Walsh will set the stage on fire the minute the festival opens with her fierce brand of satirical humor in Yellowknife with “An Evening with Mary Walsh”, Valin says.

Arthur C. Green/Submitted Image

The Canadian comedic icon is best known as creator and star of This Hour has 22 Minutes, Codco, Matching Hatching and Dispatching and much more. Some of her best-loved moments as “Marg, Princess Warrior” have made national headlines, and she recently published her debut novel Crying for the Moon.

Howie Miller, one of Canada’s most experienced and respected First Nation professional comedians, will also appear alongside many other comics including Big Daddy Tazz, Chad Anderson, Yellowknife’s own Alex Sparling, and some of our favourite comics from Iqaluit: Bibi Bilodeau and the Sam & Bernard comedy duo who will join us in Yellowknife, Valin says.

Howie has performed at all the major Canadian comedy festivals including the prestigious “Montreal Just for Laughs Festival” and was recently featured on American television in the Showtime special “No Reservations Needed”.

Don Kelly, star of APTN’s ‘Fish Out of Water” and veteran of many Canadian comedy Festivals will host the finale in Iqlauit with Derek Seguin, Abdul Butt, Sandra Battaglini, Wendi Reed, Harrison Weinreb, and a host of local comics, Valin says.

On Friday, October 11 Mary Walsh will open a special mental health and comedy show ‘Crackup Iqaluit’ featuring Patrick McKenna ‘ADD and Loving It”, Big Daddy Tazz “The Bipolar Buddha”, and Kyle Brownrigg “Unmedicated, The New Fragrance.”

This year in Iqaluit we’re featuring a show in French and English with Derek Seguin (Sirius Satellite’s Top Comic Award Winner) with Abdul Butt, alumni of CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Valin says.

The festival will feature five shows over four days and include visits to high schools if time permits.

agreen@vistaradio.ca

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