The Okanagan Comedy Festival is back — and it’s very much a laughing matter.
Comedians from across Canada will flock to venues in Kelowna, Lake Country, Vernon and Penticton from Aug. 21 to 25.
The festival general manager, Robert Gallant, is expecting another year of growth for the event.
“This is such a unique region and time of year to be running a comedy festival,” said Gallant.
“Traditionally this is a slow time of year for comedians, but with such a thriving tourist industry in the Okanagan region it is a great opportunity for everyone involved.”
“We are very fortunate to have so many talented comedians lining up to be part of this young and growing festival,” added Lars Callieou, event founder, president and long-time headline comedian.
“We are especially proud to be presenting two theatre shows this year including a live recording show for CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud hosted by Ali Hassan and another great headline show starring Canada’s wonder woman of comedy, Nikki Payne.”
Adding to his role as an annual headliner, fan favourite Tim Nutt is returning as a festival board member.
“Helping to grow a comedy festival in my own backyard is a no-brainer,” said Nutt, who started as a stand-up comic in Vancouver in 1993 and now lives in Kelowna.
Other comedians confirmed for this year’s festival include Jason Blanchard, Garret Clark, Terry North, Chris Franklin, Ryan Short, Danny Martinello, Alex Fortin, Rob Balsdon, James Uloth, Mikos Blackshaw, Norm Shaw, Matt Mellon, Scott Belford, Katie Westman, Nitish Sakuja, Victoria Banner, Alex MacKenzie, Ken Hicks and Emily Bilton.
That list of comedians is expected to get even longer, with additions of some up-and-coming local talent in the works.
Show schedules for the festival are as follows:
Aug. 21 | 7 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.) | Kelowna Curling Club
Aug. 22 | 7 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) | Okanagan Golf Club
Aug. 23 | 8 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.) | Kelowna Curling Club
Aug. 23 | 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) | Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club
Aug. 24 | 9:30 p.m. | Freddy’s Brew Pub
Aug. 21 | 8:30 p.m. | Carlo’s O’Bryan’s
Aug. 25 | 8:30 p.m. | Carlos O’Bryan’s
Aug. 21 | 7 p.m. | Tug’s Tap House
Aug. 22 | 7 p.m. (live music at 6 p.m.) | Red Rooster Winery
Aug. 22 | 7 p.m. | Craft Corner Kitchen
Aug. 23 | 7 p.m. (live music at 6 p.m.) | Red Rooster Winery
Aug. 23 | 7 p.m. | Craft Corner Kitchen
Aug. 24 | 7 p.m. (live music at 6 p.m.) | Red Rooster Winery
Aug. 24 | 7 p.m. | Tug’s Tap House
Aug. 24 | 7 p.m. The Green Pub
Aug. 22 | 7 p.m. | Creekside Theatre
Aug. 23 | 7 p.m. | Creekside Theatre
Tickets, show lineups and schedule details are available at www.okanagancomedyfestival.ca, or by calling the festival office at 1-888-855-8522.