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May. 20, 2022 | Friday
Local News
Icebreakers Comedy Festival returns Friday
Jeff Paul will be hosting The Meltdown again this year. (Supplied/Kyra Williams)

The Icebreakers Comedy Festival has grown steadily since its first weekend seven years ago – now the annual comedy series has reached five dates spread over two weekends alongside the Icewine Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Local comedian and organizer of the event Jeff Paul said he’s excited to host The Meltdown again this year – he recorded his live comedy album, called “Delightfully Dark” during last year’s Meltdown. The album was just released on Friday.

The after-hours mature comedy show features a lineup of “degenerates” such as Patrick Hakeem, Laura Leibow and Alex Pavone – and offers a foul-mouthed, no-hold’s barred performance to “offend the masses,” he said.

The comedy festival will kick off on Friday, Jan. 17 with a sold-out Opening Night show at Oast House Brewers, which will be headlined by comedian Frank Spadone.

The Celebrity Gala on Saturday, Jan. 18 at White Oaks Resort and Spa is the “biggest show we’ve ever put on,” Paul said.

As well as featuring big names in comedy such as K Trevor Wilson from Letterkenny and Shaun Majumder from This Hour has 22 Minutes – the Celebrity Gala will be a benefit for Pathstones Mental Health’s Hear and Now clinic.

And while the festival will be bringing big names and nationally recognized comedians to town, Paul said it will still feature local talent like Joe Pillitteri, who will be one of several comedians performing during the Thursday, Jan. 23 Industry Night at Jackson Triggs.

Friday, Jan. 24 will see the Best of Yuk Yuk’s at Cork’s Winebar and Eatery, showcasing Canadian comics Juliana Rodrigues, Kyle Brownrigg and Keith Pedro with Tim Rabnett hosting the night.

Paul said the CBC Radio Gala, which will close out the festival on Saturday, Jan. 25, has been held at the Old Courthouse on Queen Street in previous years. The festival has since “outgrown that venue,” he said. This year it will take place at Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery’s new event space.

Many shows are already sold out, or selling fast, Paul said. Tickets and availabilty can be found online at the Icebreakers Comedy Festival website.