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May. 25, 2022 | Wednesday
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Garden City Comedy Festival returns for four days in June
NOTL comedian Joe Pillitteri will host the gala event for the Garden City Comedy Festival. (Richard Harley/File)

Get ready for a busted gut, Niagara — the Garden City Comedy Festival is planning to return in June.

After a two-year COVID hiatus, event producer and Niagara comedian David Green said the festival is getting ready for a "triumphant return" for the fourth edition of the festival.

It will run from June 1 to 4 at multiple venues across St. Catharines.

Green said the festival is "a celebration of all things comedy in Niagara."

"The goal of the festival is to provide four days’ worth of hilarious entertainment for Niagara residents and visitors, offer a platform for the region’s established and up-and-coming comedians to showcase their skills, promote the area’s arts and entertainment community, and support local organizations," he said in a media release.

The festival runs daily, beginning with the Festival Kick Off Show on June 1 and concluding on June 4 with the Gala Night at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre headlined by Canadian Comedy Award winner Mike Wilmot and hosted by Joe Pillitteri.

Here are the dates:

June 1 – Festival Kick-off Show

The festival begins with a show headlined by festival favourite Jeff Leeson, starting at 8 p.m. at Mahtay Café and Lounge. The show will feature performances by Jacob Bergsma, Oren Williamson, Tom Holman and will be closed out by Leeson, the "king of crowd work." Hosted by Niagara’s own David Green.

Starts: 8 p.m.

Where: Mahtay Café and Lounge, 241 St. Paul St., St. Catharines

Tickets: $20

June 2 – Niagara Comedy All-Stars

The laughs continue with the Niagara Comedy All-Stars show, a showcase of the next generation of top talent in Niagara. The evening will be hosted by Levi Mann and will feature such favourites as Allie Moore, Mitch McBeaudry, Sab Powers and Niagara’s Top Comic winner Taylor Grant.

Starts: 7 p.m.

Where: Essential Café and Bakery – 3490 Schmon Pkwy., Building 7

Tickets: $20

June 3 – Badunkafunk Street Party

What is Badunkafunk? It’s funk music that makes you shake your badunkadunk. Nostalgic '70s funk mixed with body positive and irreverent lyrics. A free all-ages event with tons of surprises, giveaways and special guests.

Starts: 7 p.m.

Where: Niagara Artists Centre (Papa Tee Show Mobile), 354 St. Paul St.

Performers: Badunkafunk (aka Craig F. Watkins) and special guests

Tickets: Free admission

June 3 – Laughter from the Rooftop: A fundraiser for Women’s Place

It’s a double bill of laughter on St. Paul Street with another top-class show on the rooftop patio of the Niagara Artists Centre. Showcasing a hilarious all female lineup of top comics, it will be raising funds for Women’s Place South Niagara for all the great work it does in the community. Hosted by Niagara’s Brie Watson, the show also features Tamara Shevon, Cathy Boyd, Keh Dee and headliner Brenda Lennie. There will be raffle prizes and laughs a plenty.

Starts: 9 p.m.

Where: Niagara Artists Centre, 354 St. Paul St.

Tickets: $20

June 4 – Festival Gala Night

The Garden City Comedy Festival’s Gala Night and marquee performance features headliner and internationally renowned comedian Mike Wilmot. He has won two Canadian Comedy Awards for best male stand-up and best actor for his work in "It's All Gone Pete Tong." Wilmot has also appeared on "Corner Gas," "The Jon Dore Television Show," British TV shows such as "Never Mind the Buzzcocks," and alongside American comedian Rich Hall in the BBC television series "Rich Hall's Fishing Show" and "Rich Hall's Cattle Drive." The gala also features performances from top touring headliners such as Fiona O’Brien, Zabrina Douglas and Ernie Vicente. The evening will be hosted by Niagara’s Joe Pillitteri.

Starts: 8 p.m.

Where: FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre – 250 St. Paul St.

Tickets: $40

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