It all started back in 2003, when two friends came up with a plan to start a comedy show in our nation’s capital to help support and bring to light the various issues faced by individuals suffering from mental health. They held the first show in 2004 at Centrepointe Theatre and haven’t looked back since.
Now the event is a weeklong festival that boasts some of the top global comics around. This not for profit collaboration is now run by volunteers that take time from their day jobs to share their passion for all things comedy.
Want to support mental health and laugh out loud while doing it? Here are five picks from the Crackup 2017 lineup.
Absolute Comedy Finals
Tuesday February 7, 8:30pm at Absolute Comedy (412 Preston St.)
This is the finals of a competition which has been running for eight months. One of the six comics battling this evening will earn the chance to perform at the festival finale on February 18. The lineup includes Aba Atlas (2016 Absolute Comedy Summer Competition Winner), Logan Avery-Cooper, Heather Hurst, Steve Love, Andrew Packer, and Timothy Riel.
Yuk Yuks Comedy Finals
Wednesday February 8, 8:30pm at Yuk Yuks (292 Elgin St.)
Again, one of the six comics battling it out at this club will earn the chance to perform at the festival finale on February 18, along with the winner from Absolute Comedy. The lineup includes: Greg Schroder (2016 Yuk Yuks Summer Comedy Competition Winner), Ben Hagel, Kamar Hargadon, Mark Hatfield, Jenn Labelle, and Greg Stringer.
The Diversity Show
Thursday February 9, 8pm at Rideau Carleton Raceway (4837 Albion Rd.)
This comedy show at the Rideau Carleton Raceway highlights the diversity of our country and its mix of cultures and languages. Features Danish Anwar, Martha Chaves, Ron Josol, Arthur Simeon, and hosted by Don Kelly.
The Queen Bee Cabaret
Friday February 10, 8pm at Rideau Carleton Raceway (4837 Albion Rd.)
The show will take place at the Rideau Carleton Raceway and features an eclectic evening with DeAnne Smith, Mélanie Brulée, comedy duo The Sues, Christel Bartelse, and Les Bunheads. The variety show will be hosted by the always funny Rachelle Elie.
Festival Finale: Comedy Night in Canada
Saturday February 18, 8pm at TD Place Arena (450 Queen Elizabeth Dr.)
The host of CBC’s Still Standing, Jonny Harris, will emcee and Jeremy Hotz will be the feature of the night. To round out the evening, Debra DiGiovanni, Mark Forward, Sharron Matthews, and Derek Seguin will bring their own unique brands of comedy to the stage. They will be joined by the winners of the February 7 and 8 comedy competition finals.
The 13th Crackup Comedy Festival runs from February 7–18 at venues around town. Show tickets are available online at crackup.ca for $13–50.