Diversity in comedy
If the Kitchener-Waterloo Comedy Festival held from March 7-9 taught audiences anything, it’s that Canada has a large amount of incredibly talented comedians. Kate Davis, Darcy Michael and Gilson Lubin were three of the Canadian comedians who performed during the 5th annual K-W Comedy Festival. The festival showcased some Canadian talent that would usually be shadowed by their American counterparts. The festival was a fabulous exposure to a talented bunch of comedians. The events were held in Uptown Waterloo and Kitchener, including the Starlight Social Club. The “Rainbow Show,” dedicated to LGBT comedians, was held in the Jazz Room at the Huether Hotel.
“Canada is sort of an odd place to really sort of try to make it as an artist, but I’ve enjoyed every moment of it,” said Kate Davis, a comedian who performed at the festival. “The community itself, like all the other comics who I work with, are amazing people, and really kind and really respectful and all those things, like Michael and Lubin, like the guys on the show tonight, like we’ve been to the middle of nowhere together and back and like I’ve been to Nunavut, Iqaluit.”
Michael, another performer, expressed similar sentiments: “I love performing in Canada… everywhere you go, people amaze me, like last night I performed at [Starlight]… we had people ranging from 19 to 70, any time I can have a good show with that kind of demographic it’s just awesome.”
Michael and Davis were amongst the comedians who have been previously involved with the K-W Comedy Festival. The event at Starlight and the “Rainbow Show” at the Jazz Room drew starkly different crowds. Starlight drew a wider demographic, with anyone from 19 to 70, where Michael, Lubin and Davis performed. The comedians were uniquely funny and presented plenty of material about their families, their energy on the stage was engaging and the crowd responded strongly to it.
The “Rainbow Show” was unique on its own because it specifically featured three LGBT comedians, Scott Thompson, best known for his work on The Kids in the Hall, Elvira Kurt and Darcy Michael. Their comedy regarding their sexuality was enlightening, as well as humourous. Kurt and Michael talked about their partners and children while Thompson joked about life as a single gay man. The crowd at the show was had a younger vibe to it and drew a larger LGBT demographic than the night before.
The “Rainbow Show” was one of several specialized show that the K-W Comedy Festival presented. They also had “The Ethnic Show,” “The Homegrown Show” and the “Family Variety Show,” in addition the mainstream shows held at venues like Starlight and Chainsaw. The topics covered were extremely vast but one topic that seemed to hit close to home was the local weather. The Waterloo winter appears to be sticking out in the minds of a few of the comedians as Kurt compared Kitchener-Waterloo to being like Frozen.
If you missed the K-W Comedy Festival this year be sure to make time: this city can hold a festival.