A&E » Arts

Comedy festival on hold for a year


A much anticipated addition to Whistler’s summer entertainment lineup has been deferred for a year.

The Whistler Comedy Festival, originally slotted for Sept. 5-9, has been nixed, but organizers stress this is merely a delay to ensure the best debut for what is hoped to be an annual festival.

The main reason for the postponement is preparation. Although the comedy festival has the thumbs up from the municipality and commitment from top comedians, organizers wanted to be sure they had enough time to thoroughly market the week in conjunction with Tourism Whistler.

"We’ve been working with Tourism Whistler since April, but we had missed the first event guide that goes out. The deadline for that is back in the fall. So we will be all over that for 2002," says executive producer, Eric Baird.

Comedy nights had been planned for several bars around town as well as a Comedy Movie Marathon at MY Place, a charity golf tournament and an attempt to break a Guinness world record at the Roundhouse for comedy at the highest altitude. With extra time to prepare, Baird says the debut should be even bigger and better. Organizers are looking into additional funding through the federal government’s Arts Presentation Canada Program. The date of the event is also tentatively set to change, to Sept. 18-23, so as not to overlap with the Toronto International Film Festival. The thought being that the Whistler Comedy Festival will potentially attract national and international visitors and media.

"We’re a one hundred per cent committed to making this happen," reassures Baird. "We felt we were really forcing the issue this year, we’re very ambitious, but when it came down to it, we want everyone to have a great time, to be a win-win with the community, the entertainers and the consumer."