Andrew Grose isn’t convinced that Edmontonians are funny. But he is 100 per cent positive they have a sense of humour.
“To live somewhere this dark and cold, they have to!” laughs the producer of the Edmonton Comedy Festival, presented by ATB Financial.
The radio host and standup comedian isn’t sure bankers are funny either. But they certainly aren’t what he expected — at least the ones he’s met at ATB, since he began collaborating with them in 2011, the festival's inaugural year.
“I thought ATB would be filled with pencil pushers and pin-striped suits, so after my first visit I figured it must have been casual day. But after a few more visits I realized every day is casual day at ATB!”
Having a title sponsor that doesn’t take life too seriously is a perfect fit for Andrew.
“Without ATB there wouldn’t be a festival.”
Which brings us to this year’s lineup. Andrew is overwhelmed by the talent coming to Edmonton October 15 to 18.
“Every year you try to raise the bar. Not this year. This year we didn’t raise the bar, we got a bigger bar.”
Some of the highlights of this year’s comedy festival include:
- A Gala series featuring six shows at the ATB Financial Arts Barns (comics include: Mike MacDonald, Maryellen Hooper, Mitch Fatel, Rondell Sheridan, Alington Mitra, and Andrew Grose himself!)
- Dynamite Dames (the ladies-only launch of the festival, in support of Breast Cancer Month)
- Cabaret series (Andrew says if you want to see where “comedy was born,” try this out. Performances at Four Points by Sheraton, The Comedy Korral at the Kinsmen Corral in St. Albert, and a new venue for 2014—Comedy on Whyte at the Varscona Hotel.)
- Young Guns Competition (an elimination competition to find the best new talent)
- Funniest Media Person Contest (local media talent perform their own standup set)
- Workshops (Standup and Improv)
Before rushing off to work on the logistics of the 2014 event, Andrew shared something he does think is funny — his analogy equating comics to little girls.
“You know those six year-old girls, the kind that want to dance in front of Sunday dinner company? Comics are like that. As long as there is an audience, they will perform for as long as that audience is willing to watch.”