Kamloops Komedy Festival kicks off tonight

Are you ready for five days of chuckling, snickering, guffawing and other synonyms for laughter?

Because the Kamloops Komedy Festival returns to town tonight, starting with their sold-out show at the Noble Pig Brewery at 7 p.m.

Running to Aug. 18 and featuring 15 different comedians from across Canada and beyond, this year's festival will promise something new for locals seeking laughs. 

"The lineup this year is a lot more international," says Leland Klassen, comedian and founder of the festival. "We've got a U.K. and an Australian comedian (Terry North and Chris Franklin, respectively). It's very similar to what we've been doing in other years but we added that international component. There's more variety than I think any other year and that's what I'm excited about."

With the Sagebrush Theatre closed for renovations, the festival lost their flagship venue, so shows will be all around Kamloops this weekend.

The premiere events will be the Friday night gala and the Saturday night show, headlined by Ryan Belleville (known for his role on "Workin' Moms"). Both events will be at the Paramount Theatre, with tickets costing $35.

There is also shows every night at the local casinos, with Cascades Casino showcasing comedians Wednesday and Thursday and Chances Casino hosting events Thursday through Sunday. 

Finally, Klassen will be performing a family-friendly show on Sunday (Aug. 18) at the Gateway City Church. He says they first tried that style of show back in 2017, when a lot of families were displaced by wildfires and people really enjoyed it. It will provide a nice contrast to the "Naughty Show" at Chances the night before.

As for what Klassen is looking forward to this week, it's mostly the camaraderie of getting a bunch of funny people in the same location.

"I always enjoy watching Tim Nutt, I think he's one of the best comics in Canada, I'm glad he's coming back. I want to see Sterling Scott, I've never seen him live, he's blowing up in Canadian comedy, so I'm excited to see him," he says. "And then a lot of it is seeing old comedian friends. For comedians, that's a big part of these festivals... it becomes really a social thing for comedians. They're really fun to do and therefore, it makes it fun for the audience."

The lineup also features comedians Lars Callieou, Dan Taylor, Kelly Aija Zemnickis, Ryan Short, Katie Westman and Prince George's Alex Mackenzie

To get see the schedule and get tickets, visit HERE.

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