Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival – Line up announced

Announces The Last Laugh Gala Line Up
Air Farce Live star Jessica Holmes to host
New Brunswick native Tim Steeves to perform
Tickets available at Imperial Theatre Box Office August 14

Saint John we know you love to laugh so on Saturday, October 3 get ready to roar!

THE COMEDY NETWORK PRESENTS THE CANADIAN COMEDY AWARDS AND FESTIVAL announces a wild line up for the Festival’s big closer, The Last Laugh Gala. Hosted by the incredibly talented and best ever Céline Dion impersonator Jessica Holmes, this year’s Last Laugh Gala serves up the hottest comedians including 2007 Comedy Award winner and oh-so-funny Debra Digiovanni (MuchMusic’s Video On Trial), Jeremy Hotz, Tim Steeves, and Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson (Royal Canadian Air Farce).

Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson are also co-chairs of The Comedy Network Presents The Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to bring the Awards & Festival to Saint John,” enthused Roger Abbott. “ The work has already begun!”

“This is truly one of the best comedic variety shows that Saint John will ever see in one night,” says Jessica Holmes.  Tickets for The Last Laugh Gala are $48.00 and are available for purchase at The Imperial Theatre box-office at 24 King Square South, Saint John, NB by phone at (506) 674-4100, Toll-free from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Maine at 1-800-323- SHOW (7469) and online at

The Comedy Network Presents the Canadian Comedy Awards takes place the evening before The Last Laugh Gala on Friday, October 2 at The Imperial Theatre. Host information, presenters and performers will be announced in upcoming weeks.

About The Comics

Jessica Holmes has brought the house down opening for Jerry Seinfeld, Leslie Nielsen and even Dr. Phil. A favourite on Air Farce Live, she is a successful comedian, actress, screenwriter who is well known for her ability to transform herself into dozens of hilarious characters. Before Royal Canadian Air Farce, she wrote and starred in her own series The Holmes Show. This Second City grad has honed her ability to skewer celebrities such as the ever-intoxicated Liza Minelli, Brittney Spears and the larger-than-life Céline Dion. In 1999 Homes was nominated for the prestigious Tim Sims Encouragement award.

Jeremy Hotz is a favourite in stand-up comedy clubs across North America.  He continues to grab audiences with his confused, yet very astute observational comedy. A typical single guy being both challenged in the grocery store and in his fashion choices; he finds humour in all of it and allows the audience to laugh at his everyday mishaps and adventures.  He received a standing ovation for his first appearance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Gala in Montreal in 1997, and has returned to that stage six times.   He’s been on David Letterman and Jay Leno and was a writer for the Jon Stewart show.  He is the creator and writer of his current project for the CBC, My Life and a Movie.

Three-time Gemini Award winner Tim Steeves is originally from Sussex, New BrunswickHe is well known to comedy fans as a headliner at countless venues across Canada. This past year, Tim performed at Canadian comedy festivals in Winnipeg, Halifax, and Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival where he is a favourite. Recently, he’s also performed to sold-out audiences in London, England. He’s written for several seasons of This Hour Has 22 Minutes and is currently a staff writer for The Rick Mercer Report. Apart from writing for television comedy series, Tim has written and performed his own comedy specials on the CBC and The Comedy Network.

Debra DiGiovanni is one of the funniest ladies in Canada. She was Voted Best New Stand Up in 2002,  and in 2007, she took home the Best Female Comedian Award and was chosen as a top 10 finalist on NBC’s hit show, Last Comic Standing. She is also a favorite juror on MuchMusic’s hugely popular Video On Trial and is featured in the Slice Network’s Plastic Makes Perfect.

Roger Abbott was one of the stars and creators of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Royal Canadian Air Farce, which went on to be called Air Farce Live.  Fluent in political satire, he is well known for his hilarious parodies of Jean Chrétien, The Queen Mother, Yasser Arafat, George W. Bush, Leonard Cohen, Larry King and Peter Mansbridge.  

Don Ferguson was also one of the stars and creators of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Royal Canadian Air Farce.  A Canadian comedy icon, Ferguson created many memorable characters in the Royal Canadian Air Farce. Among them were the Confused Philosopher and the famous Colonel Stacy, who fired his chicken cannon at irritating public figures. Ferguson is also known for his irreverent impressions of political leaders such as former prime ministers Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney and Paul Martin.

As co-producers of Royal Canadian Air Farce, Don Ferguson and Roger Abbott are Canadian comedy royalty. The two have collaborated on a number of projects, including the sitcom XPM (2004), in which Ferguson starred as a former prime minister. They produced three Dave Broadfoot television specials, Old Enough to Say What I Want (1996), Old Dog, New Tricks (1999), All Star Comedy Homecoming (2002); comedy series Sketchcom (1998), and the 90-minute, 50th anniversary CBC comedy special, First Farewell Tour (2002). They also wrote, produced and starred in three separate shows performed with symphony orchestras across Canada. Asides from their performing accolades, they are and are also known for their fundraising efforts. They raised over $3 million for health and arts charities during their radio days and have co-hosted the Easter Seals telethon on the CBC for over twenty years.

In 1999 The Canadian Comedy Awards were founded as a non-profit organization to recognize Canadian achievements in comedy at home and abroad. THE COMEDY NETWORK PRESENTS THE CANADIAN COMEDY AWARDS AND FESTIVAL acknowledges a definitive group of Canadian artists and is strongly supported by the entertainment industry, the media and the comedy community. It is a unique vehicle to salute Canadian artistic excellence. Throughout its successful 10-year tenure, THE COMEDY NETWORK PRESENTS THE CANADIAN COMEDY AWARDS AND FESTIVAL has become a pivotal celebration of Canadian talent and is the only national awards festival to honour Canada’s comedic talent.

attracts more than 130 Canadian artists who come together for performances, workshops, seminars, awards, special presentations such film and documentary shows, and of course networking.

The series of events over five days includes the Funniest Person of the region contest, stand-up, sketch and improv comedy shows plus a great deal of celebrating.

Canada’s first-and-only specialty comedy service, The Comedy Network airs comedy of all kinds, 24-hours-a-day, across multiple platforms, including a revolutionary broadband service at Launched in October 1997, The Comedy Network broadcasts, uncut and uncensored, an eclectic mix of scripted, stand-up, sketch, improv, and animated comedy – as well as topical comedy talk shows, game shows and classic situation comedies.

Offering an unrivalled slate of original Canad
ian programming, The Comedy Network reinvests nearly 50 per cent of its revenues into home-grown productions. The Comedy Network, a division of CTV Television Inc., is available to nearly six million households across the country. Visit The Comedy Network’s website at