ComediHa! montreal comedy festival

English-language comics TBA at Montreal ComediHa! festival, new owners of Just for Laughs brand

The Quebec City festival has announced the francophone lineup for its inaugural Montreal edition, running from July 18 to 28, which aims to pick up Just for Laughs’ role as a world leader in English and French comedy next year.

On Wednesday, ComediHa! has announced Arnaud Soly, Mona de Grenoble, Maude Landry, Barbada and other French-language comics as part of the lineup of the inaugural Montreal edition of their festival, which will run from July 18 to 28 in the Quartier des Spectacles.

Earlier this week, ComediHa! — which has been running in Quebec City for 25 years — announced their acquisition of major Just for Laughs assets, the cost of which has not yet been disclosed. ComediHa! now owns the Just for Laughs and Juste pour rire brands, along with ZooFest, ComedyPro, Just for Laughs Gags and JFL’s entire audio-visual catalogue.

ComediHa! President Sylvain Parent-Bédard told CTV this week that the festival will soon announce between four and eight English-language comics to appear at this year’s edition, under the Just for Laughs banner. He also said that ComediHa!’s Montreal festival aims to become a “world leader of comedy, in English and in French,” specifying that “next year (the festival) should be back as (Just for Laughs) used to be.” Without bad-mouthing JFL and naming the reasons for their downfall, Parent-Bédard said that his organization didn’t want to repeat errors of the past by trying to go too big too fast.

On Monday, Parent-Bédard spoke about what his festival’s brand acquisition means in a press release.

“This acquisition of assets will allow us to offer even more diverse entertainment experiences to our Quebec, Canadian and global audiences, while supporting the growth and development of our artists and content around the world. We are also certainly becoming a strategic player for international artists who want to perform in Quebec and Canada.”

English-language comics TBA at Montreal ComediHa! festival, new owners of Just for Laughs brand

In March, Just for Laughs announced the cancellation of the 2024 editions of their Montreal and Toronto festivals, and declared bankruptcy.

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